Alan Pardew was asked to comment on the exciting race for eighth and he had some interesting observations to make about the two clubs who will be competing on Saturday.

The Newcastle manager pointing out the obvious that he hasn’t been backed by Mike Ashley, in contrast to what has happened at Southampton.

alan pardew

Gouffran Scored against Southampton at SJP

With Pardew intimating that finishing above the Saints would be a major achievement.

“We have had a season where we have lost a big player halfway through.

“We have had nowhere near the funding that Southampton have got, so in some ways you could argue that we are batting against the tide here.

“I will be making sure the team’s winning mentality doesn’t drop off and that we are structurally right for what is a difficult game.

“Everybody is saying Southampton have had a fantastic season but we are still above them and we want to stay there.

“I don’t know about a battle for eighth but it is a case of when you are around each other you want to say you are better.”