Pardew: Euro too good to be true
Alan Pardew is targeting a third-place Premier League finish as he attempts to fulfil Mike Ashley's unlikely European dream.
The Magpies will tackle relegation-threatened Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday looking for a seventh successive league victory, a run which has seen them climb into fourth and to within three points of Arsenal with a game in hand. While the odds remain against Pardew's men ending a remarkable campaign as the closest challengers to top two Manchester United and Manchester City - they still have to go to Chelsea and face Roberto Mancini's team on Tyneside - they remain genuine candidates for Champions League qualification. That was simply not on the agenda at the beginning of the season, and while they could yet finish fourth and miss out should Chelsea win next month's Champions League final, the manager is aiming as high as he possibly can with the full backing of owner Ashley. Pardew said: "Mike is very determined that we push as hard as we can for the Champions League, and we are going to try to do that for him because he has been very supportive to us this year. "We are just trying to win every game. We know we have got a difficult run - on paper, you could say more difficult than the other contenders - but the teams have still got to beat us and we are in pretty good form. But we've got a possibility of finishing third, so that's what we are going to try to do."