Alan Pardew says Champions League qualification for Newcastle would be as big as a trophy

 

Alan Pardew believes qualifying for the Champions League would be as big for Newcastle as ending their 43-year wait for a trophy.

The Magpies embark upon their latest attempt to end a lengthy silverware drought when they head for Manchester United in the Capital Cup third round tonight.

They have not taken a major trophy back to Tyneside since their 1969 European Fairs Cup triumph.

However, they came within five points of Champions League qualification last year and Pardew insists the kudos and riches that would bring would be every bit as important as winning a cup.

He said: "Obviously, we want to win something - you shouldn't be in the game unless you want to win something.

"Winning for us would be actually qualifying for the Champions League - that would be winning for us, 100%. It would be like winning a trophy.

"But our fans would like to see a nice big cup, I am sure, and hopefully we can achieve that somewhere down the line.

"We are getting to the stage where there's a mentality and a quality in the group that could win a competition such as this.

"We have to just try to win every game that we enter and see where our goals are come Christmas-time when we can really start focusing on what we want to achieve this season."

Pardew himself was still a schoolboy when Bob Moncur hoisted the Fairs Cup above his head, and several generations of Newcastle fans since have waited in vain for a chance to celebrate a similar achievement.

Eighteen-year-old midfielder Gael Bigirimana has only been at the club for a few months, but he already knows how much the fans yearn for tangible success.

He said: "I know a little bit of the story of the club and from what I can remember, they haven't won any cups for quite a long time.

"For any club, that's what the fans want, the fans want a trophy - the Capital One Cup, the FA Cup, the Europa League, whatever, the Premier League, they just want a cup just to get that feeling of winning something.

"It would just lift up the place. It's a hard challenge, but we are here, that's our job, we have got to provide that."

The Magpies head for Old Trafford having drawn there in the Barclays Premier League last season, albeit with the help of a generous penalty award.

However, there was nothing fortunate about their 3-0 home win over Sir Alex Ferguson's men on Tyneside in January.

Pardew, who is certain to make changes again, said: "I think he's still, knowing Alex, smarting from that and he will be looking to put that right on Wednesday, so we will need to be on our toes.

"I watched the game against Liverpool and I don't think United were at their best and that's dangerous, to play United when they haven't played well and won at a place like Liverpool.

"We are on our guard and we will go and hope to play well ourselves."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent