• Europa League

Pardew: Newcastle ready for Benfica test

ESPN staff
April 4, 2013
Alan Pardew insists Newcastle are aiming to win every game despite being drawn into the Premier League relegation scrap © Getty Images

Alan Pardew believes Newcastle's Europa League quarter-final task at Benfica is not mission impossible as the Magpies prepare for a tough test at the Estadio De Luz on Thursday.

Their hosts are top of the Portuguese league and have only suffered two defeats this season, but Pardew believes his team can succeed.

"In football, there is never a mission impossible," he told the Journal. "We acknowledge also that it is a tough task for us to come and get a victory here. But we can get a good result, and there's a difference because it's a two-legged game and we have a good record in those. But we need to give ourselves a chance for next Thursday."

He said Newcastle also faced increased pressure in the Premier League relegation scrap after slipping closer to the bottom three following a heavy defeat at Manchester City.

"It's not easy to forget about the Premier League," he said. "Wigan and Southampton winning their home games has put pressure on us. That is something we have to address in Premier League games."

But he insisted: "We are not taking anything over one competition. We try to enter every game to win it."

Newcastle must face the threat Benfica possess without first-team stars Hatem Ben Arfa, Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote. However, they will welcome back Sylvain Marveux, Davide Santon and Tim Krul.

"Marveaux could have played at Man City, but it would have been a risk," Pardew said. "He will be involved, and Santon is back. That strengthens my hand.

"This is probably the most glamorous and biggest tie I have had. However, that does not mean Fulham [the next Premier League game] is not more important. We have to try to gain two wins."

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