Under-fire Newcastle manager Alan Pardew finally found an ally in one of his former midfielders Yohan Cabaye.
Cabaye, 28, made 79 league appearances for the Tyneside club from 2011-14, defecting to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain in January - and Newcastle's fortunes spiralled downwards after his departure.
The France international threw his support behind his old boss Pardew, who is in much need of a friend with his job on the line.
"The manager is in trouble now but he shouldn't get all the complaints because it's not only about him, so I am sad for him and want to wish him all the best," Cabaye told The Guardian.
"When I was there and the second season wasn't good, the fact was that we were the players on the pitch."
Cabaye said he was a fan of Pardew as he is a coach of his players, who are not playing for him this season with Newcastle languishing in 19th spot in the league with three points from six games.
"I like him because he gave me confidence to play, and to play as I did for two-and-a-half years," the Frenchman added.
"As manager he is really close to the players and talks a lot with them. He puts them in a good position to play well and we give him back our trust."
Cabaye said he has lost no respect for Pardew, despite the swathe of critics calling for his sacking.
"I didn't have the opportunity to speak with him or even to call him, but I know that if he texted me, called me or wanted to meet me in Paris, I would do it with pleasure," he said.
"I just want to give him back whatever he gave me. He's a good manager and is going to stay that way in my mind."comments