Newcastle boss Pardew: Let’s seize the chance to qualify for Europe

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is urging his squad to make the most of their opportunity to qualify for Europe

Alan Pardew has urged Newcastle United to make the most of their impressive Premier League form and seize the opportunity to book their place in next season’s Europa League.

The Magpies eased to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Liverpool at St James’ Park on Sunday, extending their winning streak to three games, with a trip to Swansea City looming on Friday.

The 50-year-old’s side went 11 games unbeaten at the start of the season and despite dropping points over the hectic festive period, Newcastle are level with fifth-placed Chelsea and five points behind Tottenham Hotspur.

“I didn’t expect us to be fighting as closely as we are at the moment for those [European] spots,” said Pardew.

“But we’re going to take the chance that’s in front of us if we can. Football doesn’t often put an opportunity in front of you, and you’ve got to try and grasp it.

“So I’ve been telling the players we’ve got an opportunity and let’s try and grasp it with both hands. That’s what we’re hopefully going to do in the remaining games.”

Senegalese striker Demba Ba has been a revelation at Newcastle since joining on a free transfer last summer.

The 26-year-old has scored 16 league goals but hasn’t netted in seven games – his longest drought since moving to the Magpies.

“He’s not happy if he’s not scoring goals – it’s the nature of the beast,” added Pardew.

“He’s a goal scorer. So Cisse is getting all the credit and all the goals, so I hope he gets angry on Friday and slaps in a couple himself.”

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