Newcastle’s manager Alan Pardew keeps getting asked if he thinks Newcastle can qualify for the European Champions League this season.
Alan Pardew – applauding fans before the game on Monday
And of course the real answer is that he doesn’t know, but the way Alan runs Newcastle, he’s only concentrating on the next game, and try to win it.
It’s a cliche, but it’s also the right attitude to take over a season, which invariably has its ups and downs - to just concentrate on the upcoming game.
And whatever happened in the last game, learn from it, and then forget it, and go into the next game trying to win the thing.
With Newcastle now having five wins on the trot, the best we’ve ever done since April, 2006 – Newcastle next meet Stoke City a week come Saturday, and the goal there will be to take another 3 points.
Newcastle have won more than half their league games this season with a phenomenal 17 wins in 33 games, and of course wins are what gets a team up that league table.
Being undefeated these days means nothing, since you get 3 points for a win and only one point for a draw, and technically a team could be undefeated all season and still get relegated.
Birmingham were relegated last season with 39 points, but they did win some and lose some – but you get the point.
By the time we’ve played our last five games, hopefully we will have qualified for Europe, with entry into the Europa League or the Champions League, and we’d take either at this point.
This is what Alan Pardew said yesterday when asked if Newcastle can qualify for the Champions League:
“I’ve never actually ruled the Champions League out. You guys keep saying to me ‘are you going to make the Champions League?’ - and I just keep saying we’re going out just to win our next game.”
“I think this weekend will be important for us because if the semi-final results go our way, then I think we will be in Europe. If that works in our favor then really, there is nothing else there is to go for.”
“We’re up against Chelsea for this Champions League place. To not make Europe would be tough to take. You’ve got to keep your eye on the ball and we are not giving up on anything.”
Alan Pardew’s task against Stoke will be to ensure the lads are fully prepared for that game, and don’t get carried away with their recent success.
But if the game plan works as well as it did at Stoke last Halloween Day – 31st October – when we hammered them 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium, with a great hat-trick from Demba Ba, we could get a double over Stoke this season, as we did over Bolton Wanderers on Monday.
That would take Newcatsle up to 62 points from 34 games, and who knows, maybe we can get even reach the 70 point mark this season.
But all that matters now is to fully prepare for, and then win the game against Stoke City at St. James’ Park on Saturday, 21st April.