Europa League

Pardew targeting Europa boost

Sunday 18th November 2012 13:23

Alan Pardew: His side have slipped into the bottom half of the Premier League

Alan Pardew: His side have slipped into the bottom half of the Premier League

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Alan Pardew has challenged his Newcastle players to end a run of successive home defeats by winning Thursday's Europa League game against Maritimo.

Victory against the Portuguese side would guarantee the Magpies' qualification for the knockout phase of the competition and help to cushion the blow of Saturday's 2-1 loss to Swansea.

The shock defeat followed last weekend's home reverse by West Ham and Pardew is determined to avoid an unwanted hat-trick.

The 51-year-old said: "We certainly don't want to lose three home games on the trot, that would be a blow.

"Maritimo is a big game for us because if we can win it, it guarantees qualification.

"That's what we need to do, get one hurdle out of the way and then look for our first win away from home in the Premier League in the next game.

"They are the two immediate hurdles in front of us."

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