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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

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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