With Everton only drawing at Manchester United yesterday, Newcastle are now guaranteed a place in the Europa League for next season.
Cheick Tiote – challenging Peter Crouch on Saturday
6th position is now the lowest place Newcastle can finish the season in, and the FA has already announced that 6th place will get a Europa League spot, so we’re back in Europe next season.
Cheick Tiote has been a stellar buy for the club, since he was acquired form FC Twente back in August of 2010 for a measly £3.5M (that’s officially classed as peanuts), and he had this to say today about Newcastle qualifying for European football:
“For a long time the fans have not had European football but now, next season we will be in European competition,” “It is great – it is very important for this football club.”
“It will definitely convince players to stay. It is important. If the team is playing in Europe, it is better for us to keep our best players.”
“It will be difficult to keep our very best players if we are not playing in Europe so to achieve this is good.” “We have a very good squad here, it is not just about one or two players – it is about the squad.”
“It is OK, if we get into Europe it will be even better. It is great for the club, the fans and for everyone.” “This season we’ve been in very good form from the start.”
“We have won all the important games and that is good for the fans and the team. We must stay true to what we have done all season and keep winning.”
It seems that Newcastle are simply focused on trying to get as many points in the remaining four games, and the squad is not even talking about a possible Champions League position for next season, although that is possible.
One thing that manager Alan Pardew has been very successful at this season, is to keep the players’ feet firmly on the ground, and not get carried away by what may or may not be possible.
Cheick has said the lads are only concentrating on the last four games of the season:
“I don’t think about it yet. We play game after game, we have four games left now. We will try to win every game and then at the end of the season we will see.”
“I don’t think the other Champions League teams fear us yet. There are too many good teams in the Premier League – we still have a lot of games to play and we must do everything we can to win every game.”
“As soon as we start to think we have done it, we will go in bad form and lose one game which could be important. That will happen.” “For now I am focused on the Wigan game, all of the team are.”
“We are not thinking about Champions League.” “We talked about doing every thing we could to win and that is what we have to do for the next four games as well.”
“It is very important to keep winning. I think it was one of the best home performances of the season.” “Yohan is a brilliant player. He has played well all season, he is a key player and has been all season.”
“He can do everything – he scored two goals and I am very happy for him that he scored.”
It’s very important to keep winning, as Cheick says, and Newcastle need to keep that winning mentality, that all the top clubs have.
They must go into every game with the target being to win the game, and whatever happens during the game, find a way to come out of it with all 3 points.
If we can do that in the last four games of the season, the lads must have a decent chance of making the Champions League next season.
But even if we cannot do it – it will still have been a magnificent season, in which Newcastle have established themselves back with the big boys again.