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

C

an we release him in January?

dhirt11
Gerrard: I would leave Anfield

E

xcellent! Not sure if he is any good as a manager (never thought about it) but the 'headbutt in the technical area' and what he said to Pelligrini were just brilliant, it was as if he was trying to recreate the end of the Alan Partridge Xmas special when Alan punched a man in a wheelchair and verbally abused Tony Heirs.

beachend
Football Managers On TV: Alan Pardew

I

think you spelt Inter Milan wrong in your headline.

quoasis
Ince joins Forest on loan

Footer 365

European football: La Liga battle hots up as Real close on Barca after El Clasico win

The dust might be settling after El Clasico, but there’s plenty more drama in store in La Liga, writes David Garrido.

Arsene Wenger: Jack Wilshere doubtful for Arsenal v Burnley

Arsene Wenger admits that Jack Wilshere remains a doubt for Saturday’s visit of Burnley to the Emirates Stadium.

Steven Gerrard says Daniel Sturridge is the best English striker

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes Daniel Sturridge is the best English striker he has played alongside.

Mail Box

Is Ancelotti A Better Boss Than Mourinho?

That's one shout in the mailbox, although not as controversial as the mail imploring Jose Mourinho to sign Steven Gerrard in January so he can win the title he deserves...

'Pride' Didn't Stop Wenger Signing Flamini

Arsene Wenger's 'pride' in signings is quite rightly pulled apart. We also have a stupidly long email on going back, and one Mailboxer whooping about the FA Cup first round...

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