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The Magpies are currently sixth in the Premier League and could yet qualify for the Europa League or even, if Tottenham and Chelsea's form plummets, the Champions League

Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew is targeting qualification for European football or a trophy win within the next three years.

The Magpies are currently sixth in the Premier League table but will be denied a Europa League berth should Everton beat Liverpool in their FA Cup semi-final in April.

Pardew has claimed that he would not get too hung up on missing out this campaign, but declared that he is eager for silverware or continental football before too long.

He told reporters: “Whether we get a European place will probably decided by fate more than anything.

"Whether we get a European place will probably be decided by fate more than anything - we have had a great season regardless"

“We have had a great season regardless of the European spot, and we want to do that again next year.

“By hook or by crook, in the next three years it would be nice to get some sort of European football or win a trophy. That's the goal.”

Despite flirting with the upper echelons of the top flight all season, Pardew has accepted that sixth-placed Newcastle are unlikely to catch Tottenham or Arsenal, who occupy fourth and third, respectively.

“We won't get Champions League football, I just think that's too big [a gap] to bridge - five points on Spurs while Arsenal are probably away from us now," the former Southampton manager conceded.

“It's too much, they are too good a teams to catch with eight games left.”

Pardew also bemoaned the cup-final losers being given a Europa League spot if the winner has already qualified or is set to play in the Champions League next season.

He added: “I think it's slightly unfair that the losing cup finalist gets a place in front of a whole season's campaign, but that's the rule at the moment.

“We are not going to change that before the end of the season, we have to accept that.

“I think it should change for next year, in my opinion, but we have still got a great chance of finishing fifth or sixth, and that's what we are going to try to do.”

Although he has not had the greatest years in terms of goalscoring, Pardew still believes that Andy Carroll is one of the finest players of his kind ahead of the Liverpool striker's return to Tyneside this weekend.

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“One hundred per cent, he is an outstanding footballer who is having a difficult first season at a new club, no more than that," the Magpies chief insisted.

“A lot of other players have had that situation with high price-tags.

“He is a very young man still, he has got a great career in front of him and I for one hope he has a chance on England duty one day.

“If you put the delivery in the right place and he times his run, he is undefendable, I said that when he was here and I am not going to change that opinion.

“You pick any centre-half in world football and Andy Carroll will score that particular goal.”

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