By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Alan Pardew admitted that his side face a tough test in the fourth qualifying round of the Europa league - particularly with the prospect of two away games in the space of three days.
Newcastle were paired against Greek outfit Atromitos in Friday's draw and will have to travel to Athens ahead of another long trip to Chelsea the following weekend.
Potentially, United could have to play at the Peristeri Stadium on the evening of Thursday, 23rd August before heading to Stamford Bridge for their Barclays Premier League fixture on Saturday, 25th August - although the Magpies manager will hope an agreement can be reached to play the game in Greece on the Wednesday or even the day before.
Even without the possible calendar congestion, however, Pardew knows that Atromitos will prove to be difficult opposition after seeing his team draw 1-1 with Olympiakos in a friendly last month.
Olympiakos won their country's Super League last season but United's European rivals finished just three places behind and Pardew told nufc.co.uk: "It's be a hard game, for sure.
"You don't finish fourth in your league unless you've got something going on so they're obviously on the up.
"It's a tough journey which is going to take a little bit away from us. Certainly coming back from there to go to Chelsea on a Saturday is not ideal."
As things stand, Pardew's team are away in the first leg before hosting the return the leg the following week. And although he hopes it'll only be the start of Newcastle's European adventure, the manager believes it will be a memorable experience for the fans who make the journey.
"I'm sure they'll enjoy it," he said. "Athens is a fantastic city so it'll be great to see the Geordies rumbling around there."