While most of us are commiserating over losing yet another league game on the road yesterday at Swansea, admittedly one we gave ourselves every chance of winning in that second half, where we looked a very good side – apart from our poor finishing – Alan Pardew seems upbeat about our European tie against FC Anzhi Makhachkala coming up on the next two Thursdays, in the round of the last 16.
Alan Pardew – upbeat about Europe
I have to admit I would have felt a lot more comfortable today if we had at least picked up a draw yesterday at the Liberty Stadium – but I suppose we were a little unlucky in that second half.
But we must win our next two league games – at home to Stoke City next Sunday and away to Wigan on the following Sunday – and both those games follow are games with Anzhi Makhachkala.
Newcastle face a decent side in the big spending Russians, and we’ll do well to hold them on Thursday evening.
This is what Alan Pardew told the Sunday Sun today:
“Now we are in what I would call the real nitty-gritty of the competition, I think all 16 teams left are really focused on it.” “This is a big trophy to win for all the clubs, and I include the bigger ones such as Chelsea.”
“Trust me on that.” “Do we have a chance to win? I think we have as good a chance as anyone else.” “I do think the run we have been on in Europe, the teams we have beaten in that run and the places we have won, all have gone a little un-noticed.”
“When we were going through a spell of suffering defeats in the Premier League, we focused a little bit more on Europe.” “I do not want to talk about that how far we can go.” “This tie we have ahead of us is going to be difficult.”
“On Thursday, we will be playing a slightly better side than us.” “They are certainly more experienced in terms of playing European football.” “To win in places such as Moscow against a team like Anzhi, you have to be a heck of a technical side and that is what we are now.”
“I believe we have a team which can win.” “The advantages they might have over us is something we can cope with.” “I have tried to set the team up all season to win away from home.” “You saw that at Manchester United and Arsenal this season.”
“Perhaps if we had had a bit more quality on the pitch in terms of individuals then we would have won at United.” “We have been like that all year, but you need great players to achieve this and now I have great players.”
If we can get through to the quarter finals of the competition there are still some big clubs left – and they include Chelsea, Benfica, Tottenham (who play) Inter Milan, and Rome side Lazio, and we could get a plum draw if we can get through to the quarter finals for the first time since 2004, when the great Bobby Robson took us to the semi-finals against Marseilles and a young Didier Drogba.
And Alan Pardew will not sit back against Anzhi Makhachkala this Thursday night, because he knows an away goal can be so important over the two legs.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org