Alan Pardew wants his Newcastle United team to break into the top half of the Premier League after seeing them exit the Europa League at the hands of Benfica, according to BBC
The Magpies were eliminated by Portuguese side Benfica, drawing 1-1 on the night after losing the first-leg 3-1 in Portugal. Newcastle had to win by two clear goals and scored first through Papiss Cisse late in the second-half, but later still Eduardo Salvio levelled to confirm the Lisbon club’s semi-final berth.
Newcastle are currently 13th in the league after a season spent mostly down the bottom of the table but with six games left to play – starting with a Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland at St James’ Park on Sunday – the manager wants to see his side climb the rankings.
“I’m proud of this whole run but now we need to try to finish in the top 10 of the Premier League – that is the next target for us,” Pardew said, adding: “ The fans can see that we have good players here and a good strategy going forward for next season but we need to finish strongly, that is our priority.”
Pardew went on to say he is relishing the prospect of playing Sunderland in what will be the second game in charge for newly-appointed Black Cats boss Paolo Di Canio. “ I can’t wait for it [the Sunderland game], in the region it is the biggest game,” Pardew admitted,
“Sometimes emotions can get a bit carried away but we need to keep them in check. Hopefully we can get a win.”
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