Alan Pardew: "We are under no illusions"

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew before kick-off in the match against Manchester City on March 30, 2013
© PA Photos
Alan Pardew says that his Newcastle United team face a tough task in qualifying for the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew does not believe that his side have faced many better teams than Benfica.

The Magpies go into tonight's Europa League quarter-final second leg needing to win by two goals following last week's 3-1 defeat at the Estadio da Luz.

"There's only one team which has beaten them by two clear goals, and that's Barcelona," Pardew told reporters. "So that's the size of the task, so we are under no illusions there.

"This is a Champions League team, really, and if it weren't for Celtic's fantastic performance in the group, they could have been competing in the Champions League.

"That's the quality we are up against. I don't think there are going to be many better sides that have played here than Benfica."

Newcastle will need to win by three goals if Jorge Jesus's men score two or more at St James' Park.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew before kick-off in the match against Manchester City on March 30, 2013
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