Alan Pardew turns to Neil Lennon for advice

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew before kick-off in the match against Manchester City on March 30, 2013
© PA Photos
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew turns to Celtic counterpart Neil Lennon for advice on dealing with Benfica.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has turned to Celtic boss Neil Lennon for advice ahead of tomorrow evening's Europa League clash with Benfica.

The Magpies take on the Portuguese giants away from home in the first leg of the quarter-final tie, with Celtic having already played them twice in the Champions League.

"We have good contacts regarding this team. I know this city quite well and I have some contacts here who know Benfica well," Sky Sports News quotes Pardew as saying.

"There is also Neil Lennon who we have been in contact with. I think it is important to get as much information as you can - as I'm sure Benfica have done with us.

"It is a big test for us because I think with any team that is on such a roll as Benfica, it is going to be difficult. They have great momentum and that confidence breeds its own success."

Pardew went on to say that his side must take something from the first leg in order to progress to the last four, but insisted that Newcastle are capable of beating any opposition on home soil.

"I think at St James' Park we can beat anybody - we have no doubt about that game. Here, we need to put on a performance so we can take something back to give us a chance," he said.

"It will be difficult to contain them if we come here just to defend. I think both teams are good in possession and therefore, that will be a key element."

Celtic held Benfica to a goalless draw at home and lost 2-1 away when the teams met in the group stages of the Champions League earlier this season.

Steven Taylor
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