The Argentine believes the Magpies deserve to finish in the Premier League's top four this season and is confident of disrupting Roberto Mancini's side's title bidEXCLUSIVE
By Francisco Delgado
Jonas Gutierrez believes Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City is just as big as the Champions League final for Newcastle, with the wideman keen to see his side secure a third-place finish.
Alan Pardew’s men have been this season’s surprise package, with the Magpies maintaining their form from the start of the campaign to make an unlikely challenge for a top four spot.
While Newcastle are currently sat in fifth, they are just one point behind Arsenal in third and level with fourth-placed Tottenham following a 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday.
And Gutierrez insists his side will not be distracted by City’s push for a maiden Premier League title at Sports Direct Arena, instead calling for his side to finish in a “deserved” Champions League spot.
“For us, Sunday will be the game of the year: our own Champions League final,” Gutierrez told Goal.com.
“We dream of not failing in order to keep fighting for third place in the table.
|25/1||Jonas Gutierrez is 25/1 with William Hill to score the first goal when Newcastle play Manchester City on Sunday.|
“People can think what they like but throughout this whole season, Newcastle have shown that we deserve to be in the next Champions League.
“Manchester City are playing for the title, but for us the game on Sunday is a real final. We are playing for a place in the Champions League and we cannot afford to slip up with just 180 minutes left to fight.
“It will be an fast and furious game because the win at Chelsea was conclusive and it has given us confidence for the battle against City.”
Following Roberto Mancini’s side’s 1-0 win over Manchester United on Monday, they now sit in pole position in the race for top spot, but the Argentine is confident of disrupting City’s title charge, despite the presence of fellow countrymen Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.
“Could Newcastle decide the outcome of the league? No. We are just looking for the three points because our life depends on it,” the 28-year-old continued.
“To play in the Champions League would be sensational and I believe we deserve it for everything we have done this season.
“[However City] are two steps from the title and they won't want to slip up, but we are also close to our objective and we need the three points. A draw wouldn't be any good for either team.
“Stopping Aguero and Tevez isn't easy at all. Those guys can cause problems for you in a moment because they are world stars. They can open up any game with one move and we will have to avoid that.
“We are producing our best performances against the big teams. The numbers are there for all to see and we hope we can defeat City as well.”
The former Mallorca man also put Newcastle’s form this year down their work ethic, while hailing the impact of Senegalese duo Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, who have scored 29 league goals between them this season.
“At Newcastle there is no miracle nor trick for success. Just work, work, work.
“The team are performing well and we are also scoring spectacular goals. Some of the goals scored by Ba and Cisse this season have been among the best in the Premier League. A real luxury.
“Cisse is a predator in the area. With him we have increased our quality in attack and he complements Ba perfectly. He is scoring some great goals.”