Pardew sets sights on Europe

Magpies boss hails performance in win over Liverpool

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Last Updated: 01/04/12 5:24pm

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is determined to guide his side into Europe after boosting their hopes with a 2-0 win over 10-man Liverpool.

Papiss Cisse scored both goals to move the Magpies level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea and keep them in contention for a top four finish.

Pardew was full of praise for his players as they moved 11 points clear of Liverpool with a clinical performance at St James' Park.

"They were awesome today. We were very much in control of the game, I thought," Pardew told Sky Sports News

"Liverpool had a lot of flair on the pitch and we dealt with it well.

"The two centre-halves for us were magnificent and we got goals. We have said all along that the front four or five of ours will get goals and we just have to make sure we are disciplined and defend.

"It was an outstanding performance from us."

Penalty claim

Newcastle had a lucky escape when Danny Simpson appeared to handle the ball on the line in the first half when the scoreline was 0-0, but Pardew felt referee Martin Atkinson was right not to award a penalty for the incident.

"I have seen it three times now, I think it hits him high on the shoulder. I think I would be surprised if a referee gives that," he added.

"It wasn't like his hand was sticking out or anything like that, I thought it was OK."

There was also a suspicion of offside about Cisse's second goal, but Pardew again felt the officials got the decision right.

"He wasn't involved in the play and you could see it was a one-two through the middle but it broke to him [Cisse]. By that time the Liverpool player was level and therefore he was onside.

"That's a rule all us managers are not keen on but it's the rule and it was always going to count."

Europe

Pardew believes Newcastle deserve to qualify for Europe this season after challenging the top six all season.

"It just consolidates our position, we've been 10 points ahead of the group all season below us and we have stretched that with Liverpool today and so now we've just got to make sure we see it home and take this club into Europe," continued Pardew.

"I think our fans deserve it, they have been absolutely outstanding following us all season and it would be a bit of a disappointment if we don't get there now."

Pardew also felt Pepe Reina could have no complaints with the red card he received late on for an apparent head-butt on Newcastle defender James Perch.

"I thought he was frustrated and he has done something you can't do as a professional footballer and put his head in our players' face. He is going to get sent off."