By Tom Rhodes
Alan Pardew has expressed his desire to deliver Europa League success to Newcastle United and will field a strong side in pursuit of European glory. The Magpies face Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv on Thursday night, and though Newcastle are just two points and four places above the Premier League relegation zone with Alan Pardew odds on to be sacked according to paddy power, Pardew will not be resting any first-team players.
English sides have often treated the Europa League as an inconvenience, but Pardew is pleased to be in the competition and determined to do everything possible to win. “It’s competition we’d all love to win,” Pardew told the club’s official website. “It’s difficult to get through the group stage, make no mistake, so we don’t want that hard work to be for nothing. “But the last 16 is in our reach and there could be some big ties ahead for us. I’m sure our fans would relish bringing more big European nights to St. James’ Park so we’ll be doing everything we can to progress and deliver that.”
The 51-year-old Toon boss was keen to stress that he will pick a strong side for the clash against the Ukrainian visitors, and lauded the Magpies’ new-found squad depth courtesy of their January splurge. “Metalist are a good side, you just have to look at the teams they finished above in their group to realise that, so they’ll get our full respect,” Pardew added. “I’ll be picking a strong side for Thursday. The new lads who arrived last month have given us greater depth, so I’ll take advantage of that with my team selection.”