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Former West Ham boss admits his side are overachieving in terms of player budgets, but feels recent good form will help claim a top-four spot ahead of Tottenham and Chelsea

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew believes his side have the required momentum that could see them finish in the Champions League qualification places this season.

The Magpies have been one of this season’s surprise packages as they continue to push for a top-four spot in just their second season back in the Premier League.

Pardew’s men currently find themselves level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham, and two points ahead of Chelsea, with just five games remaining and the 50-year-old believes their current good form could be key.

"We are battling well above our level in terms of the salaries and transfer fees these other clubs are paying," Pardew told Sky Sports.

"We shouldn't be anywhere near them, but we are and we continue on our good form. We are in great form at the minute, momentum is with us, and we take that to Stoke (on Saturday)."

However, it is still possibly that a fourth-place finish will not guarantee Champions League football next season.

Chelsea, who currently lead Barcelona 1-0 following the first leg of their semi-final in this year’s tournament, face an uphill battle to finish inside the qualifying positions. But victory in the final at the Allianz Arena on May 19 would hand the play-off position to Roberto Di Matteo’s men.

Pardew admits there is confusion over the exact rules over Champions League qualification, though says the club have taken steps with the national governing body.

"We are trying to get some clarity from the FA as to what it all means, because we don't know. We will find out at the end of the season.

"The most important thing is to win your games, but we are keeping an eye on the other results, as you would imagine.

"Arsenal losing to Wigan was a big loss for them and puts them in touching distance of the three clubs below them."

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