Alan Pardew won't sacrifice Europa League

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew before kick-off in the match against Manchester City on March 30, 2013
© PA Photos
Alan Pardew insists that Newcastle will continue to field full-strength teams in the Europa League despite their worrying position in the Premier League table.

Alan Pardew has insisted that he will not jeopardise Newcastle United's Europa League chances by resting players to prioritise their domestic relegation concerns.

The Magpies are still not assured of Premier League safety after a 4-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday left them just three points clear of the relegation zone.

With a Europa League quarter-final trip to Benfica awaiting United on Thursday, Pardew has ruled out fielding a weakened team in order to enhance their survival chances.

"No, I don't think it was ever going to change," Pardew told The Journal. "We always knew it would be the remaining games in the Premier League which would be the important ones and that isn't going to change.

"The Benfica game has lifted the spirit in the club after the victory we had in the last round and we'll take that into Thursday. I couldn't go full tilt on Saturday because I had too many players missing. We had square pegs in round holes.

"Next Sunday we will have more players available to put round pegs in round holes and be able to produce a more balanced performance. [Davide] Santon, [Chieck] Tiote, in particular will be important to come back for us on Thursday and Sunday."

Newcastle have a home game in the Premier League against Fulham on April 7 in between their two quarter-final legs against Benfica.

Demba Ba celebrates scoring the opener
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