Newcastle boss Pardew confident on Europa League qualification

The Magpies came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw away in Bruges and now sit top of Group D with only one game left at home to Maritimo before progression is settled
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is confident that Europa League qualification is within their grasp following their 2-2 draw against Club Brugge on Thursday.

Vurnon Anita and Shola Ameobi scored for the Magpies before half time to cancel out Bruges’ early 2-0 lead. Despite stuttering early on, Pardew was full of praise for his side's fightback which now leaves the Magpies in a strong position in Group D.

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"It was a terrific game, really open," Pardew told reporters. "They went at us and we went at them.

"But we gifted a goal and then another one which surprised me. We were creating chances, we should have scored. It was a great goal from Anita and another too from Shola.

"I am delighted. 2-0 down at Bruges is tough and they have pace in their team and are always a threat. I was pleased with all the individuals.

"We are in a strong position. We are looking to wrap the league up against Maritimo."

Newcastle did not leave the game unscathed however, after Cheick Tiote received a yellow card which will see him banned from the final game of the group, while James Perch was injured and is expected to be out for six weeks.

But there was enough to keep the 2,600 travelling Newcastle faithful happy, and Pardew was full of praise for their support.

"It is affecting Cheikh and he protected himself by pulling out of some tackles," Pardew continued. "He will have to serve this new suspension and come back roaring in the league.

"By all accounts our fans have conducted themselves well with good humour and I hope it stays like that. This is a good result."