Pardew: Cup is our target this season

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The Independent Football

Alan Pardew will target cup glory this season as he attempts to end Newcastle's 42-year trophy drought. Pardew knows the Premier League title is only a dream for a club like his as it continues its recovery from a humiliating relegation two years ago and tries to re-establish itself as a top-flight fixture.

However, he is confident there is enough talent within the squad to mount a genuine challenge for silverware in the domestic cup competitions just as Birmingham did last year, although without suffering the same fate in the League.

Pardew said: "A realistic target for this football club must be a cup competition because the Premier League title is not a viable situation for us.

"You only had to look at our bench on Saturday and the players who didn't make it – like Alan Smith – to know we are much stronger squad-wise this year to attack this competition [the Carling Cup], and the FA Cup."

Newcastle have not won a major trophy since lifting the Fairs Cup in 1969, and last tasted domestic glory in the 1955 FA Cup final.

But they head into their Carling Cup second-round match with League One Scunthorpe tonight brimming with confidence after following up their opening-day league draw with Arsenal by defeating arch-rivals Sunderland.

Pardew will make changes for the trip to Glanford Park as he rests some of his key men, however, and midfielder Joey Barton will not be involved as he starts talks with QPR over a move.