Champions League within reach, says Pardew

NEWCASTLE - Alan Pardew admitted Newcastle were daring to dream of Champions League qualification after an emphatic win over Stoke lifted the Magpies into fourth place.
Alan Pardew (left) shares a joke with Tony Pulis but only the former would be smiling after the match. Net photo.
Alan Pardew (left) shares a joke with Tony Pulis but only the former would be smiling after the match. Net photo.

NEWCASTLE - Alan Pardew admitted Newcastle were daring to dream of Champions League qualification after an emphatic win over Stoke lifted the Magpies into fourth place.

French midfielder Yohan Cabaye scored twice and created another for Papiss Cisse in a comprehensive 3-0 win which also saw another virtuoso display from winger Hatem Ben-Arfa.

The victory -- Newcastle’s sixth straight win -- means Pardew’s side have to be regarded as genuine contenders for a top-four finish despite a run-in that features games against Manchester City, Chelsea, Wigan and Everton.

With Tottenham losing 1-0 at Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle now have sole possession of fourth spot, three points of clear of Spurs in fifth.

“The Champions League is still a possibility and we are not hiding from that,” said Pardew, who will be a keen observer of Everton’s match at Manchester United on Sunday.

“If Everton don’t win, that’s qualification for the Europa League for us and that’s a big, big achievement for this club.

“But we haven’t lost sight of the fact that the city feels there’s a chance to do something really special. With four games left, we can still get into the Champions League. We will try to win them all and see where that takes us.

“We’ve got momentum and that’s a dangerous tool to have in your locker. We are playing with confidence and got ourselves in a fantastic position, perhaps better than we thought we might be in.”

Stoke, who were one of England’s Europa league’s representatives this season, were outclasssed for the entire 90 minutes, with Cabaye and Cheick Tiote dominating the midfield.

 

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