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

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho hits back at Arsene Wenger ahead of showdown

Jose Mourinho has retaliated after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger questioned Chelsea's defensive approach.

Ilkay Gundogan close to Manchester United move

Manchester United are close to agreeing a £21.5m deal to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, according to Sky sources.

Eden Hazard will stay at Chelsea and not move to Real Madrid, says Jose Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is not concerned about Real Madrid’s reported interest in Eden Hazard.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company