Wright played with him at Crystal Palace, and even Pards has made it public "I wasn't the best player Palace ever had".
Average at best, and Wright tells the Chronicle he only won over the Palace fans when he scored a rare goal in the FA Cup semi-final that took the club to Wembley.
That goal that took Palace to Wembley
Right place - right time.
And suddenly Newcastle's upturn in form has given him breathing space from the banners and the boos.
Ian Wright: “Ashley gets stick and there’s many chairman under whom Pardew would have gone.
“I remember saying that he’s got Pardew there because he likes him, he’s going to stick by him and he’s stuck by him.
"What was more noticeable than anything else (was that) those players were playing for Alan Pardew and now he’s come through that.
"Long may it continue for Pards.
“He’s my mate and you’ve got to back him and I’m pleased he has come through it.
“I remember when he was at Palace and him getting stick for years. That’s where the thick skin came from for him.
“All that stick he was getting from the fans, he could deal with that.
"When he scored in the semi-final (of the FA Cup) all of a sudden he became ‘Super Al’ but I’m delighted that he came through it.
“What he can do is take in his stride because he knows what it is all about. I’m pleased for Alan (Pardew).
“He’s a great bloke, he’s a lad – he’s a geezer.
"He’s always been very good on the coaching level, he would talk to Steve Coppell and stuff and putting his ideas in.
“I always thought he was going to be a good coach. I didn’t think he was going to be as good as he’s been but I’m really pleased for him.”