Sam Allardyce says his Everton side will face a ‘different’ Newcastle United side to the one they beat 1-0 back in December whilst insisting he has 'nothing but respect' for the club who once sacked him.
The Blues boss, who once managed the Magpies, also complimented the job old rival Rafa Benitez has done in turning his side’s season around and touched on possible plans for player recruitment in the coming months - should he still be Everton manager.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Allardyce said: "It's been so long now there's nothing but respect for the football club.
"While I always considered it was unjust I lost my job, it happened and I moved on.”
The 63-year-old continued: “After a difficult time from that period onwards they've managed to recover and get back in the Premier League and what looked like going to be a difficult season has been turned around starting in January.”
"They've put together a run of games by how they've organised the team and what they've delivered,” he added.
“We'll see a different Newcastle team to when we beat them up there.”
Allardyce’ history with his counterpart is well documented.
From their spats during the former England boss’ spell at Bolton Wanderers to a clash whilst manning the touchline for Blackburn Rovers, Allardyce and Benitez have long since buried the hatchet.
This meeting will be the 14th time they have gone head-to-head with the Spaniard dominating meetings - seven wins to Allardyce’s four.
"I think he's progressed very very well,” Allardyce answered when asked about Benitez’s progress with the Magpies this season.
“He's always expressed his disappointment at not having enough funds, but we can all say we don't have enough funds.
"What he has managed with the funds he has, particularly in the January months, has been excellent."
Should he still be in charge in a few weeks time, the 63-year-old could oversee a crucial transfer window for the Blues.
There is set to plenty of incomings and outgoings but the current Everton boss wouldn’t reveal any possible planning.
"I'm not going to tell anybody that just yet, I'm not going to speculate who's going to go out and who's coming back in,” he said.
"We have a difficult summer as I said by the fact that the World Cup's on and it's ok saying we want to do this business or that business, a lot of the summer months you try and achieve what you can and then all of a sudden you do business you never expected to.
"What your targets might be at the beginning of pre-season or the end of this season, by the time the middle of pre-season has happened those targets could very well change.”
Allardyce added: “Being in a World Cup year, recruitment's going to be difficult to say the least."