Newcastle boss Alan Pardew targeting Champions League after keeping his stars
Last Updated: September 6, 2012 12:58pm
Alan Pardew: Wants to improve on last season's fifth-place finish in the Premier League
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew thinks he has a squad capable of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League after successfully keeping hold of his star players.
After impressively finishing fifth in last season's Premier League, the likes of Tim Krul, Fabricio Coloccini, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse were all linked with summer moves.
Pardew has already blasted the unsettling role of agents during the transfer window and has blamed the rumour mill for Newcastle taking just four points from three games at the start of the current campaign.
But having ensured none of his key men were sold before last week's deadline day, the St James' Park boss now reckons his squad can kick on and finish in the top four of the Premier League.
"Although we are a big club, financially we are not as big as the others," Pardew told Sky Sports News.
"It is difficult to get some stability in your squad when players are being touted around.
"For us, it was very important to keep that group together.
"We worked hard last summer to bring them here, they did terrifically well, we finished fifth and we want to do the same again or even better."