Pardew sets the bar high
Newcastle, Latest news update:
Alan Pardew has demanded top-four form from Newcastle after seeing them edge themselves six points clear of the relegation zone.
The Magpies hauled themselves into 14th place in the Premier League as a result of a 4-2 victory over Southampton at St James' Park on Sunday afternoon, their third league win in four attempts.
Pardew later revealed he had told his players they would need to rediscover the form which propelled them into the European places last season prior to the first victory of that sequence at struggling Aston Villa.
It's fair to say the United boss hasn't been left disappointed by the reaction he has had from his team since setting down that challenge.
He said: "When we went to Villa, I said to the team, 'We have got 15 games to go, we have got to be in the top four in the last 15 games', and we are, probably.
"We have had three wins out of four in that period and that has set us up nicely for the run-in now. That's the form we have got to maintain for the rest of the season.
"You look at the Premier League table and we have now put ourselves in a position to attack 10th, and that was the importance of the victory.
"It wasn't about anything else for me, and that's how I tried to get the players' mindset.
"I said to them afterwards, we should attack the top 10 now, and we can with this team.
"What a considerable difference to six weeks ago it has made, the players coming back from injury and the new players."