Magpies boss insists while his team's Champions League chances are up in the air, his players have restored pride at a club ridiculed following relegation three years agoNewcastle United manager Alan Pardew says his players have enabled the Tyneside club to regain respect and insists their Champions League hopes are still alive despite defeat at the hands of Manchester City
Pardew admitted his team's prospects of forcing their way past Arsenal and Tottenham next weekend are doubtful but he is certain performances this season have restored pride at the Sports Direct Arena.
Pardew spoke out after leading his players on a lap of appreciation following the 2-0 defeat by City, which means even victory for Newcastle in their last game of the season at in-form Everton on Sunday might not be enough to bring Champions League football to Tyneside.
“The most important thing that the fans must feel deep inside them is that we have brought some respect back to this club which, as the unveiling of the Sir Bobby Robson statue showed, has a tradition and history some clubs just don’t have the fabric that we have got,” Pardew told reporters.
“You get beaten 2-0 at home on the last home game of the season and you expect the stadium to be empty.
"There has probably been a few times when that has happened, but for them to all stay behind and pay their respects as we did to them wasn’t shallow, because I don’t think we would be in this position without them.
"They have been a big part of the home form that has been terrific.
“Both Arsenal and Tottenham need to win and that pressure could help us. Arsenal need to win because fourth place is not going to guarantee Champions League football.
"They have to win in case Spurs finish above us. That could be significant. For our part there is a simple equation. We have to win at Everton, which might not be enough. There is no draw and, looking at results, we need to win.
“Now we are back in there competing it must feel good for the players, and I really hope next year we have a similar season where we are competing for a Champions League position."
Pardew hailed champions-elect City as the best team Newcastle had faced all season after Yaya Toure’s double put Roberto Mancini’s side on the brink of their first ever Premier League title.
“It was a terrific game,” Pardew added. “You could sense on the touchline that it was a real tight, tense affair and we had both done our homework on each other.
"We were stopping them doing what they do well, they were stopping us doing what we do well and one goal was always going to change the face of the game, which it did.
“It needed a bit of quality to do that and unfortunately it came from Yaya Toure. Then you are vulnerable against them when the game opens up.
"They looked at their best when they had scored and the game opened up. Until then we had kept them quiet."
Pardew claimed Newcastle's 2-0 midweek win over Chelsea had taken its toll on his players.
“Looking at City today, they looked a little fresher than us," Pardew said.
"That effort we put in at Chelsea took that little bit of sparkle out of the team, especially our offensive players – Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.
"But in terms of City, the QPR game is one you would expect them to win. They were powerful today and their back four was as strong as we have played against.
"If I am honest, they are the best team we have played this year.
“Mancini has the luxury of being able to bring world-class players off the bench. Getting three early bookings affected us and I think the referee was a bit lively with those bookings to say the least.
“Bringing Edin Dzeko on and moving Yaya Toure was significant for them in that it just allowed them to unlock the door.
"They have great options to change things when it is getting a bit stale and doesn’t look like it is working. We did a great job on the front foot – as good as anyone this year.
“We applauded them off quite rightly at the end and the whole game was a tremendous advert for the Premier League. The best team won and I don’t like to say that because my team wasn’t the best team."