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Pardew targets Europa glory

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew believes his players have the quality to win the UEFA Europa League this season.

Last Updated: 07/03/13 at 16:04 Post Comment   

Alan Pardew: Will be without six first-team regulars on Thursday

Alan Pardew: Will be without six first-team regulars on Thursday

The Magpies face Anzhi Makhachkala in the first leg of their last-16 clash in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday.

Pardew, 51, admits that the Russian side are the strongest United have had to face so far in the competition but believes his team have the quality to come out on top.

"Do I think we have got a chance in the competition? When you get to this stage, all the clubs have a chance," said Pardew.

"You need some luck, but you need a good technical game and you need to have the right mentality in the group. I think our mentality is strong.

"This tie is going to be close and I think the result here will have a huge reflection on St James' Park because that is an advantage for us, that the second leg is there, for sure."

However, Newcastle will be without six members of Pardew's preferred starting line-up.

Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini are injured and Mathieu Debuchy and Yoan Gouffran ineligible, while Papiss Cisse did not make the plane because of a virus and Jonas Gutierrez stayed behind with Pardew not wanting to aggravate a knee condition by playing him on the plastic pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium.

"Papiss has been sick since Sunday, so myself and the doctor went to see him this morning to see whether we felt he could travel, with me definitely thinking he could," said Pardew.

"But he didn't look well, to be honest, so we have had to leave him behind, unfortunately. That's one of the reasons I brought Shola [Ameobi], because I didn't have any intention of bringing Shola.

"It's a surface that he's been advised in the past not really to play on, so it leaves me a little bit short of striking options."

Prepared

Newcastle have spent three days training on a 4G pitch at Druid Park, home of Gosforth Rugby Football Club, in order to prepare for the surface in Moscow.

"We have practised with the squad for three days on the surface and we will have a little experience of it tonight, so we have prepared ourselves," he added.

"And we have got good technical players - you have to be very, very highly technical on an astroturf pitch, and we have technical players, and I will side with those tomorrow in this team."

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I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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