Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul targets Stoke and Wigan games in hunt for Champions League
Tuesday 17 April 2012
Goalkeeper Tim Krul has challenged Newcastle to prove they a worth a return to the Champions League - by beating Stoke and Wigan.
The fifth-placed Magpies are currently level on points with Tottenham in fourth and will be assured of European action next season if they can secure a top-six finish following Carling Cup winners Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final victory over Everton.
But having reeled in Spurs, who have won only one of the eight Barclays Premier League games they have played since they demolished Newcastle 5-0 at White Hart Lane on February 11, they have set their sights on even loftier aims.
However, while title-chasing Manchester City and FA Cup finalists Chelsea may yet stand between Alan Pardew's men and their dreams, Krul insists that victory over Stoke this Saturday and resurgent Wigan, who have beaten leaders Manchester United and Arsenal in their last two games, at the DW Stadium a week later will be equally important.
The 24-year-old Holland international told the Journal: "What an opportunity we have got. Things are going great at the moment.
"I have been saying for years that I think Newcastle are a top-six side and maybe people didn't see it. But now we are there, and hopefully we can stay there.
"Liverpool's win was great news for us and it is huge for the club to be back in Europe.
"We are up there, but if you don't win against Stoke and Wigan, you don't deserve to be up there. We will look at the next two games and hope that we get the results that we need.
"Our attitude is that if we can't beat Stoke, we don't deserve to get into the Champions League.
"We just need to keep the pressure on the top teams. Stoke at home and Wigan away are massive games for us."
Newcastle will head into the Stoke game on the back of five successive league victories and with a comprehensive 3-1 win at the Britannia Stadium in October, courtesy of a Demba Ba hat-trick, already under their belts.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Monaco match report: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goal provides little consolation as Berbatov and Monaco stun Gunners
Fabio Cannavaro given jail sentence: World Cup winning captain gets 10-months for swimming in pool
Charlton sex tape: is the #sextratime Vine real or just another publicity stunt?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
Financial Fair Play under threat: Brussels court case could potentially lead to rules being scrapped
- 1 Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
- 2 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 3 People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke, research shows
- 5 Muslim women's rights campaigner writes heartfelt letter to girls thinking of joining Isis
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Ukraine crisis: 'One miscalculation, and Britain faces an existential threat to our whole being...'