Alan Pardew is getting to grips with the fact that Newcastle are struggling in the Premier League in a season where we are doing quite well in the Europa league, currently lying top of Group D, and a win tonight at home to Maritimo can see us qualify for the knockout rounds of the competition.
Alan Pardew -
But going through to the knock out rounds will see us continue to have mid-week games and our small squad, which has been decimated by injury and suspensions will keep being put to the task.
Alan Pardew tried to be philosophical about the dilemma:
“You want to be in a competition that gives you some sort of fighting chance in your own league and this format is very difficult for Premier League teams.” “And we all kind of know that as Premier League managers.”
“But, of course, we will gain from the experience of it. I have spoken to Stoke manager Tony Pulis a couple of times and he would love to be in the competition this year.” “With the experience he gained last year, but it is difficult to back it up.”
“That is something we are in danger of not being able to do if we do not actually win the competition. That is the pressure it puts on you.” “But that’s the competition. We knew what it was about and went into it with our eyes open.” “I will pick the team for Maritimo with Southampton in mind. “
“Sunday is a very important game for us but so is Thursday.” “I obviously want to win Thursday and I want to win again on Sunday. I have got to come up with some sort of magical plan that makes me do that. But we have got enough quality in the squad to carry the two games and I hope we can.”
The Newcastle manager has regularly made around 9 changes to the side that plays on Thursday nights in Europe, and then the same number of changes the following Sunday in the Premier League game, but the extra games have taken a toll on our league form, and we are 11 points off the pace we set last year and in 12th position.
Newcastle may bring in new players in January, and that would be good, but it’s also hard to see how we can qualify for Europe next season, given our current league position and continuing success in the Europa League.
But we are not even one third the way through our league, so there’s always hope, and we’ll qualify if we can actually win the Europa League this season, of course.
As we said there’s always hope.
What do you think?
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