Fulham manager Martin Jol has reacted to comments made by Alan Pardew accusing recent acquisition Darren Bent of making the 'safer' move in deciding to join the Craven Cottage side.
The two teams meet on Tyneside this Saturday with Pardew's men looking for their first three points of the season after losing to Manchester City 4-0, and then drawing at home to West Ham United last week.
Bent was a target for the Magpies but the former Aston Villa striker chose London, prompting Pardew to suggest he'd taken the easy option as opposed to joining Newcastle.
"I really don't know what he (Pardew) means. I feel he (Bent) probably made the right decision because he knows that he is in our plans and that means he will play a lot of games. He knows he is an important part of my squad - otherwise I think he would have gone to Newcastle," said the Dutchman.
Bent is on a season-long loan from parent club Villa after rejecting a move to Newcastle and choosing Fulham. Pardew accused the striker of opting to play under less pressure by joining the west London club.
How ironic it would be if the former England international were to score on Saturday having turned down the chance to join Pardew's side. Bent bagged his first goal against Arsenal in the 3-1 defeat last weekend and Jol believes he is now ready to start.
"He was eager to play and eager to start (against Arsenal). He joined us late but his fitness is good and he is ready to start," he added.
Pressure is building at St James' Park after a turbulent summer and tempers could flair in the dugout this weekend if Pardew's side fail to impress.
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