Newcastle must seize chance of Europe says Alan Pardew

Newcastle manager says his side are a year ahead of schedule in their Premier League progress

Alan Pardew, the Newcastle United manager, yesterday called for his players to grasp the chance to play in Europe next season, after revealing the side's current success is a year ahead of schedule. The Magpies are level on points with Chelsea in the Premier League, narrowly behind the Blues on goal difference, and a spot in the Europa League is up for grabs.

Pardew praised the application of his players for the success of the club this season and admits he is firmly focused on bringing European football back to the north-east ahead of tomorrow's game with Swansea.

"We're a year ahead of schedule," Pardew said. "I didn't expect us to be as close as we are to those [European] spots but we're going to take the chance in front of us if we can. That's football – it doesn't often put an opportunity in front of you and you've got to grasp it.

"I keep saying to the players that you've got an opportunity so grasp it with both hands and that's what we're going to do hopefully in the remaining games.

"We are ahead of schedule only because of the players and the application they've had. They're absolutely brilliant. They're a fantastic set of players and there's a fantastic camaraderie between them.

"We've given them a tactical base but we're not based around one system we've got two or three systems that we can turn to and the players bind to anything that we put in front of them which is fantastic.

"It doesn't happen often at a football club so I'm very privileged to be working for these players."

Unlike some managers who view the Europa League as an unwelcome addition to an already packed schedule - especially at the start of the season - the Newcastle manager is relishing the chance of stepping up to the challenge. "The format [of the Europa League] actually works against Premier League teams because of the nature of our division," he said. "The intensity you have to have to play in a Premier League game, in some of the other leagues, the Europa League isn't so much of an issue as every game isn't as fully committed as ours.

"It's harder for the Premier League teams but that's not to say we wouldn't accept that challenge. We really hope for our fans more than anything that we get European football for them."

Pardew is looking for his side to extend their three-game winning run when they travel to the Liberty Stadium tomorrow. Newcastle have notched up wins over Norwich, West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool in their last three league games, and Pardew believes his side are still getting better.

"We've had our fair share [of plaudits]," he said. "We're having a season that's outstanding and we're going to continue that if we can.I said all along that if we can get to this last period of games in the frame for Europe then we'll give it a go and that's what we're going to do."

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Sport
Sam Allardyce
sport
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Bob Dylan
art
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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?