Alan Pardew sets Newcastle United Champions League challenge
Alan Pardew wants Newcastle United to improve on their league position and qualify for the Champions League this season
Alan Pardew has challenged Newcastle United to go one step further this season and qualify for the Champions League.
The Magpies were the surprise package in the Premier League in the 2011-12 campaign as they finished in fifth place.
The Newcastle manager has managed to keep hold of all his key players this summer, including Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Tim Krul and Cheick Tiote, and he believes the club can improve on their league position with such a strong squad.
“Although we are a big club, financially we are not as big as the others,” Pardew told Sky Sports News.
“It is difficult to get some stability in your squad when players are being touted around.
“For us, it was very important to keep that group together.
“We worked hard last summer to bring them here, they did terrifically well, we finished fifth and we want to do the same again or even better.”
Newcastle have endured a mixed start to the season with a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur followed by a defeat at Chelsea, before earning a point against Aston Villa.
But Pardew has been left pleased by the Magpies’ qualification for the Europa League group stage – and now hopes his side can push on in the English top flight.
“I still think we have had a decent start. We have had tough games – Tottenham was a tough game, we got three points; Aston Villa was another really tough game; two games in that European competition and Chelsea away,” Pardew said on the club’s website.
“We have to take the four points and the qualification and say ‘Okay, now we need to up it a gear’.”