Pardew hunting ‘bonus’ points

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will make one last push for Champions League qualification admitting anything better than a fifth-place finish would be a glorious bonus.

The Magpies head for Everton tomorrow to bring down the curtain on what has been a remarkable campaign.

At worst, Pardew’s men will finish fifth, ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool — and they could yet pip Arsenal and Tottenham to third and an automatic Champions League spot, and that would represent a massive bonus.

The manager, who was named the Barclays Premier League’s Manager of the season yesterday, said: “Absolutely, yes, that’s the way we are approaching the game.

“This is where you want to be, the pinnacle of the game is the Champions League.

“To actually be competing for it is more than we imagined and to have that opportunity is something that doesn’t come along very often, and we want to try to grasp it. It’s been a magnificent achievement by everyone at this football club, and we can’t wait for Sunday to unfold.”

The basic equation is that the Magpies need to win at Goodison Park and hope that both the Gunners, who are two points better off, lose at West Brom and Spurs, who have a point more, do not beat Fulham.

Newcastle’s season has surprised most, and even Pardew admits their current standing is way in excess of his expectations.

He said: “I would be foolish if I sat here and said I thought we were going to finish fifth.

“The board made a good statement — top 10 — I thought that was fair.”


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