Newcastle full-back Davide Santon has praised manager Alan Pardew, even likening him to Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho.
The 21-year-old played under Mourinho at Inter Milan for two years before the Portuguese moved to the Bernabeu in 2010.
Santon left the San Siro the following year, making a £5.5million move to St James' Park.
His first season on Tyneside was a success, playing his part in a memorable year for the north-east outfit, who ended the campaign in fifth and qualified for Europe.
Santon has praised Pardew for helping him to settle in at his new club, comparing the 51-year-old with the 'special one' himself.
"Pardew is a great coach with a lot in common with [Jose] Mourinho," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "He's scrupulous, he teaches football, he knows tactics and opponents.
"The first few months were not easy. I didn't speak the language and coach Pardew kept me on the bench for some time.
"He explained I have to study the Premier League. He was right, he protected my integration."
Newcastle take on Manchester United on Sunday and hope to repeat their 3-0 success over the Red Devils in the corresponding fixture last season.
Santon has pinpointed Toon striker Papiss Cisse as the one to watch in Sunday's encounter.
The Senegal striker has yet to score in the league this season but did hit the back of the net in Thursday's Europa League victory over Bordeaux and scored in a Capital One Cup defeat to United earlier this month.
"It won't be easy to repeat last year's win but we will try," added Santon. "It could be the right match for our Papiss Cisse.
"He has yet to score and United is the right opponent for him to loosen up."