Pardew urges Newcastle to ´challenge´ Champions League hopefuls

25 October 2014 05:43

Although his side are in the Premier League’s drop zone, Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew wants them to challenge England’s leading clubs.

Pardew believes Newcastle should still be rivalling those teams challenging for UEFA Champions League qualification, as the St James’ Park outfit prepare to visit Tottenham on Sunday.

Newcastle trumped Leicester City 1-0 last week to end a seven-game winless streak to start the 2014-15 Premier League season and, while Pardew concedes his team are “a long way from” Tottenham at the moment, he expects a competitive performance from his men in London.

“It is always difficult to challenge Champions League teams but we try to do that,” he said on Friday.

“Obviously we are a long way from that at the moment and are thinking of nothing more than the next game. I know that is a cliche but that is where we are at the moment.”

Tottenham thrashed Asteras Tripolis 5-1 in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday with Erik Lamela scoring one of the goals of the season – a rabona from outside the box that found the top corner of the net.

Pardew conceded he has never seen a goal like that in a match.

“It was amazing,” the 53-year-old said.

“I haven’t really seen that on the training ground when the ball is coming across like that, at that pace. To hit it like that was amazing.

“We have one or two who can do it from a dead ball situation when they just manoeuvre it but I don’t think I have ever seen a goal quite like that in training, let alone in a match.

“Spurs have great players – they have always had great individuals. But so do we, and we have got to hope that our individual players stand up and produce a moment like that.

“Papiss’ [Cisse’s] goal at Swansea, although it did not look as technical as Lamela’s, was of a similar vein, I thought. It was a great moment.

“We have got to hope we have one or two of them on Sunday rather than the Spurs players.”