The manager made crystal clear what he sees as most important this season;
“Nothing would give our fans more pleasure than to win a trophy and I want to give them that. However, I think getting a Champions League place is probably the biggest thing we could win.
It would be massive this season. Can we achieve that? I don’t know. Next down is the FA Cup, then probably the Europa League and then the Capital One Cup”.
However, the extra words about what Champions League qualification would mean, makes me think that maybe there is real belief that Newcastle could compete for a top four spot, despite earlier protestations that it was too big a leap from fifth – especially with Europa League responsibilities.
I have no doubt that Alan Pardew is ambitious and having navigated a tricky opening five matches including Chelsea, Everton and Spurs, the manager is seeing a positive picture emerging, especially with the likes of Tiote, Coloccini, Simpson and Krul all at various stages of coming back into the first team picture.