Newcastle United's Alan Pardew: We are not title challengers

The Magpie's manager explained how his team are exceeding his expectations this season and that he is sure the fans will not become over-demanding
Alan Pardew does not think his side can finish in a Champions League spot this season, and has insisted that Newcastle United fans are not developing unrealistic expectations.

The Magpies are enjoying a great start in the Premier League this season and are one of only two unbeaten sides in the division alongside leaders Manchester City.

The Tyneside club could temporarily leapfrog Manchester United to go second in the league with a home win agaisnt Everton on Saturday. Many people have been surprised with Newcastle's start to the campaign, including their manager.

Pardew was quoted in The Mirror saying: "Are we contenders? No. We have had a great start and shown lots of sides to our team in the last 10 games. What we have done is put some pride back into the shirt.

"Could that create high expectations? That is not a problem. You are underestimating the knowledge of our fans.

"I didn't expect us to be going into this game unbeaten, that's for sure. So, in that respect, we've exceeded my expectations for the team. But I honestly felt in pre-season that, potentially, we had a good side."

With a tough run of fixtures ahead, Newcastle will have to consistently produce the kind of performances they have been in order to maintain their current league position. Their next four games include away trips to both Manchester clubs and a home game against Chelsea.

The manager accepted this will be a hard run of matches and stated that, despite growing confidence at St James' Park, there will not be too much pressure from the fans.

He said: "We are obviously going into a run against the real quality sides in the division. After that, I think we'll know a little bit more, but we've certainly proven we are a decent side.

"I really don't sense that the supporters have unrealistic expectations.

"When I've been in and around fans and in and around the city, most of the people are just really pleased with the way things are going.

"There's a pride, and maybe this team has gone a long way towards putting a spring back in everyone's step in the city.

"But I don't see people thinking we are going to be Champions League material or a top-four team. I don't see that pressure building.

"Maybe it will if we are still in this position with two months of the season to go, but not at the moment, no."

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