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The Magpies boss wants his side to return to winning ways at home to the Cottagers to end a run of three straight defeats and prepare for their upcoming Europa League tie

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes it is crucial his side win their Premier League game with Fulham on Sunday and end a run of three defeats in all competitions.

The Magpies lost 3-1 to Benfica in their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday following league defeats to Manchester City and Wigan.

The Toon now find themselves just three points above the relegation zone and facing the uphill task of overturning a two-goal deficit this week in their second leg against the Portuguese league leaders.

Pardew told the Press Association: “The Fulham game is an important one for us, there is no doubt about that.

“We want to set ourselves up for Thursday - probably to do that, we are going to need to win.”

Newcastle have a good record in games after European excursions this year, suggesting fatigue is not an issue for the side.

The Magpies won against Southampton after a trip to face Metalist Kharkiv in Ukraine and did the same against Stoke after visiting Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia.

Pardew continued: “We had a tough game against Benfica but it was just as tough as some of the other games we have had, and there is no reason why we can’t show our strength on the pitch on Sunday.”

Fulham are in an impressive vein of form, winning three in their last four and unbeaten in five.

An integral part of that run has been the goalscoring exploits of Dimitar Berbatov, who has found the back of the net six times in six games.

Speaking about the threat the Bulgarian striker brings, Pardew said: “He caused us a lot of problems at their place [Fulham won 2-1 in December].

“He is a great player and we need to make sure we take care of him.”

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