With six points from the last two matches, Alan Pardew is now looking upwards again and has declared that ‘in touch with the top’ is where he wants to be – dangerously close to…the Europa League!

Exactly what ‘in touch with the top’ is, is quite another matter because at the moment United are 20 points off top placed Chelsea, while we are 19 points off third bottom Sunderland.

So technically we are a fraction more in touch with relegation than winning the league.

However, we can all join in celebrating the relief of a couple of much needed wins and this is what the manager has had to say;

europa league“It has been two great results for us, to beat Aston Villa at home and Hull away. They’re both close to us and now we have given ourselves a nice cushion.

“We have put ourselves in touch with the top and that is where we want to be.”

Looking at the league table there is now a top four that have broken away and are now seven points clear of fifth placed Spurs.

Then you can just about say we are at the bottom of another mini-league of four, currently seven points behind Tottenham in eighth, though they do have a game in hand. While I suppose Southampton fans would claim it is a group of five as they are only four points behind United.

Everton and Manchester United also have a game in hand on United but are now only five and two points ahead of Newcastle respectively.

The mackems defeat at Wembley means that Europa League qualification now goes down to sixth place and depending on who reached the FA Cup final, it could reach seventh.

With Everton and Manchester United still to visit St.James’ Park, we could be set for some amusing debate around the so called poisoned chalice of the Europa League.

If Newcastle didn’t have a big enough squad to cope with it last time around, god knows how many we’d need to sign in the summer to cope if Alan Pardew let his boss down and we actually qualified…