Alan Pardew wants Europa League triumph

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew before kick-off in the Europa League tie against Metalist Kharkiv on February 14, 2013
© PA Photos
Alan Pardew says Newcastle United can win the Europa League after insisting that his side were safe from relegation in the Premier League.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has indicated that the Europa League is the club's main priority this season.

The Magpies moved nine points clear of the relegation zone on Sunday thanks to a late winner from Papiss Cisse as the Toon Army came from behind to beat Stoke City 2-1 at St James' Park.

The boss now feels that Newcastle can look to Europe to end their trophy drought, and start by beating Anzhi Makhachkala in the second leg of their last-16 clash.

"We have a great opportunity in the Europa League and all my focus will be on that now," Pardew said. "We are now nine points clear of the relegation places and while they say you need 40 points to make sure you are safe, I would expect this team to have enough to do that with just nine games left to play.

"So we can look at the Europa League with real ambition. I will play my best team against Anzhi on Thursday night. We are down to the nitty gritty in the competition now and we have a chance to have a real go at it.

"There are too many games in the Europa League, too many for a Premier League team and with the squad we had in the first half of the season, we could not risk everything in the European games. Now things have changed as we have a squad that can compete.

"Our fans are well educated and they know we have a top team coming to St James' Park on Thursday night. We appreciate the money and effort they are putting in to supporting us at the moment and we will need each and every one of them to create an atmosphere that will give us a special night on Thursday."

Newcastle host Anzhi on Thursday.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew applauds the travelling Magpies fans at Old Trafford on December 26, 2012
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