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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy