Alan Pardew has come out today and said he is very pleased with the season so far, with Newcastle currently in 6th place, just two points above Liverpool.
Alan Pardew – he’s told players – this is it
But with only two points from our last four games, and having only drawn our last two home games against teams lower than us in the league table, there’s a chance Newcastle could tail off in the last 10 games of the season.
And if that happens it will mean that the team will not qualify for the Europa League, but we still have every chance of reaching the official goal of the season – finish in 10th place or higher.
Newcastle have 44 points from their 28 games, and 11th placed Fulham have 36 points so we are still 8 points clear, as far as our target for the season goes.
Fifth in the league will get Newcastle an automatic Europa League position, but if Liverpool and the FA Cup winners finish above us in the league table, there is a chance that even 7th place can get Newcastle into the Europa League for next season.
But Alan Pardew doesn’t want it to be a let-down if Newcastle don’t make Europe next season:
“I don’t care if people would dress it up as a disappointment, it would not be for me.” “It has been a marvellous season.” “Having said that, I do not want to lose six of the last 10 because that would leave a sour taste in the mouth.”
“It is getting the players to understand the last 10 games of the season are very, very important.” “If you are fighting relegation, trying to get a good position in the league or more importantly, like we are, have a definite chance of Europe.”
“We have to go for it.” “Change your lifestyle, try and do little things to say ‘We have 10 games now. This is it.’” “In business , in your home or love life, sometimes you need to readjust your goals. What are your goals?”
“If they are not stretching you, if you are not stretching yourself they are not worthy goals.” “If we were saying it would be OK to finish ninth this season we would be doing ourselves a disservice.”
“So we will try fifth and sixth. If we fall below that, seventh or eight, I would still be delighted.”
Those are really good words from Alan Pardew, and you get a sense of how inspirational he can be in the dressing room.
We used to call them stretch goals at IBM, and we suppose a good stretch goal for Newcastle right now would be 5th place in the league, and currently we are 5 points off the pace, with Chelsea currently on 49 points in 5th place in the league.
And it’s 6 points in reality, because of our poor goal difference.
But Alan Pardew is right when he says – this is it – and we have to go for it this afternoon against Norwich City, and hopefully get our first win in five games.
If we can do that, things will be looking very good tonight.