Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul targets Stoke and Wigan games in hunt for Champions League

 

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.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project