Date: 10th April 2006 at 9:23pm
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To be honest I’d rather not even go there … BUT Alan Pardew has revealed an unlikely influence on his side’s remarkable season of achievement – Harry Potter.

When it comes to buying and selling players, Pardew revealed that one way he judges them had been borrowed from the pages of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, in which JK Rowling’s teenage wizard is terrified by beings with the power to suck out their victim’s souls.

Pardew: ‘I surround myself with strong characters, winners and people who I like to think have good, sensible morals.

‘I include all my staff and players in that, and if I don’t see it in an individual, then I get rid of that person.

‘I don’t like people who drain my time and energy. If you’ve seen the Harry Potter films, we use the term ‘dementors’ – people who can draw the life out of you in terms of your energy.

‘So we eradicate the ‘dementors’, encourage the positive people, and that spreads around to create the team spirit we have here.’