Alan Pardew believes the Europa League is more difficult to negotiate than the Champions League.
Newcastle's league form has suffered this season - they have just lost successive home games - as they have embarked on a European campaign for the first time in five seasons. They can progress from the group stage with a game to spare if they beat Maritimo at St James' Park tonight.
“I think it is harder for us. I genuinely do,” said Pardew. “The four Champions League teams have the finance to attack that with two squads really, whereas we are attacking a competition which has much more games, a heavier schedule and a more difficult night in Thursday night, and a much reduced squad so it is much more difficult for us.
”You only have to look at the other two clubs in the competiton (Spurs and Liverpool) and we're all having very similar seasons at the moment and they are stronger clubs than us financially so it just goes to show that it does make a big impact on your Premier League situation.
“I've heard in the press and even our fans talking about transfers in but really we just have to knuckle down and get some results with the squad we've got because there's actually nothing we can do until the window opens anyway. It is not really high up on our priority list because it goes on all the time - that talk in the background - and we'll deal with that when we need to.
”I don't know what you all want me to say. I obviously want to win on Thursday and I want to win again on Sunday (at Southampton) and I have got to come up with some sort of magical plan which makes me do that, but we have got enough quality in the squad to carry the two games and I hope we can.“