Pulis backs Magpies for top four
Stoke boss Tony Pulis feels it would be good for the Premier League if Newcastle managed to secure a top-four finish this season.
The Magpies are currently lying fifth, level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham with five games to go, and well in contention for a Champions League berth. Although both Spurs and Manchester City have made their debut in the competition in recent years by breaking into the top four, it would be the biggest surprise yet if the Tyneside outfit - only promoted back to the English top flight just under two years ago - managed to return to Europe's top table. They last featured in the Champions League when they were eliminated in the qualifying rounds in 2003 and Pulis, whose team play at Newcastle on Saturday, would be delighted to see them rubbing shoulders with the continent's elite once again. "I think it would be lovely for the Premier League to have someone new and fresh getting in there - although I'm sure the rest of the teams up there will have something to say about that as well," Pulis said. "Alan (Pardew, Newcastle manager) has done a fantastic job but this is the business end of the season now when they have to push forward and push on. "As with the top two teams (City and league leaders Manchester United), who have got the bit between their teeth - it is who gets their noses over the line first. It is great for us as a football nation if you get a team outside what is supposed to be the top six group getting into it and working hard to try to stay there."