Newcastle United remaining cautious after Europa League win


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The Independent Football

Jonas Gutierrez is keeping his feet firmly on the ground despite helping Newcastle to reach the last 16 in the Europa Cup with a 1-0 victory at Metalist Kharkiv.

The Argentina international, who started on the bench at the Metalist Stadium as manager Alan Pardew attempted to manage his resources ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Southampton, played his part in a concerted defensive effort as Metalist Kharkiv launched a late bid to salvage their European dream.

Pardew later revealed he felt his new-look squad was ready to have a real go in the competition, although Gutierrez is refusing to think any further ahead than next month's clash with Anzhi Makhachkala.

He said: "We have to take it game by game. Now we have to think about the next one, which is also going to be tough.

"When you go through to the next round, you are going to find a more difficult team, so we have to be ready for that."

Having drawn 0-0 at St James' Park last Thursday evening, Newcastle arrived in a wintry Ukraine knowing they needed a score draw at least to progress.

However, despite making six changes, one of them enforced after midfielder Cheick Tiote went down with a virus an hour before kick-off, to the side which started then first leg, they ran out deserved 1-0 winners.

Victory was secured from the penalty spot 26 minutes from time when Shola Ameobi claimed his 15th European goal after Moussa Sissoko had been felled by keeper Olexandr Goryainov.

However, opposite number Tim Krul had to make three fine saves late on to deny first substitute Willian and then twice within seconds, striker Jonathan Cristaldo to see the game out.

Krul left the stadium on crutches after an X-rated challenge by Cristaldo left him nursing a sore ankle, but he did so sharing the plaudits with Ameobi.

Gutierrez said: "We know the quality of Shola. He always takes the penalties and when he takes the ball, I am really confident he is going to score.

"He has really good quality in his feet and when he has to take a penalty, he does it with a lot of confidence.

"I think in the game, we were better than them [Metalist], but they are a really good side.

"They had their opportunities and Tim made good saves because maybe if they had scored, the last 20 minutes would have been really tough.

"But when we scored, we knew they had to score two to go through, so that gave us the opportunity to be see the game out.

"It was really important to go through to the next stage. We came here to fight and we did it, so we are really happy."