Pardew seeks Lennon advice

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has consulted Celtic counterpart Neil Lennon over Europa League quarter-final opponents Benfica.

Last Updated: 05/04/13 at 08:20 Post Comment

Alan Pardew: Newcastle boss has sought advice on Benfica from Neil Lennon

Alan Pardew: Newcastle boss has sought advice on Benfica from Neil Lennon

The Magpies travel to Estadio da Luz for Thursday's first leg and Pardew has been taking advice from Lennon, whose Bhoys played the Portuguese giants in the UEFA Champions League.

Celtic drew 0-0 with Benfica at home and lost 2-1 away, and Pardew said: "We have good contacts regarding this team. I know this city quite well and I have some contacts here who know Benfica well.

"There is also Neil Lennon who we have been in contact with. I think it is important to get as much information as you can - as I'm sure Benfica have done with us.

"It is a big test for us because I think with any team that is on such a roll as Benfica, it is going to be difficult," Pardew added. "They have great momentum and that confidence breeds its own success.

"But I think at St James' Park we can beat anybody - we have no doubt about that game. Here, we need to put on a performance so we can take something back to give us a chance (in the second leg).

"It will be difficult to contain them if we come here just to defend. I think both teams are good in possession and therefore, that will be a key element."

Pardew admits it is difficult to put thoughts about Newcastle's Premier League predicament to one side at the moment, but insists his injury-depleted team are capable of doing well both domestically and in Europe for the rest of the season.

"It is not easy to forget about, because we are in a position where pressure is on us," Pardew said. "We acknowledge that pressure and it is something we have to address in Premier League games.

"But we have had some criticism for not taking the Europa League seriously, and then there have even been a couple of suggestions that we are now taking it too seriously, regarding our Premier League position.

"We have tried to enter every game to win it. My team is a strong one, which has the confidence to progress in this competition - good as the opposition are - and the quality to ensure our safety in the Premier League, regardless of the injuries we have had."

Pardew has selected as strong a squad for the match as he could. Two players who sat out last weekend's Manchester City loss, Cheick Tiote (hamstring) and Massadio Haidara (knee), are missing from the 19-man group, along with expected absentees Fabricio Coloccini (back), Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Mathieu Debuchy and Yoan Gouffran (both ineligible).

But defender Davide Santon, sidelined against City by a thigh problem, and goalkeeper Tim Krul, out for the last seven games due to an ankle injury, have both been included, with Pardew today indicating the latter will go straight back into the starting XI.

He said: "I personally think he is one of the top goalkeepers in the world. This is a great opportunity for him to come back as the number one ahead of Sunday (when Newcastle host Fulham in the Premier League)."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

eah, if there's one thing football autobiographies need more of, it's mind numbing-inanity and platitudinous tales of bantz.

Hallicks
Robson blasts Keane book

W

e were a steaming pile of recently released dogs dinner.

popularpete,
Wenger: We refused to lose

I

m sure I'll be one of about 100 but the Monday's third allbum was actually Pill, Thrills n Bellyache. Brendan would kill for quality like that right now.

u man
Brendan Rodgers: Radiohead Or The Happy Mondays

Footer 365

Premier League: Chelsea's Diego Costa hospitalised with virus ahead of Super Sunday trip to Manchester United

Chelsea striker Diego Costa was hospitalised earlier this week after contracting a virus, according to Sky sources.

Premier League: Arsenal's Per Mertesacker says he has struggled for motivation this season

Per Mertesacker has admitted he has struggled with motivation since winning the World Cup with Germany this summer.

Transfer news: Free agent Victor Valdes to train with Manchester United after knee injury

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes is training with Manchester United as he recovers from a serious knee injury.

Mail Box

Dropping Jack And Pity For Poor Alexis...

We have lots more mails about Liverpool (is Brendan the naked emperor?) and Arsenal. One reader feels sorry for Alexis Sanchez while one wants Wilshere dropped...

Oh Mario - Why Always Meh?

Come on in and play the Liverpool blame game. Is it the fault of Rodgers, Balotelli, Mignolet, Johnson, Markovic or Lovren? Plus, Arsenal fans annoyed in victory...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property