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Ferguson: 'Progression The Priority'

Written by Newcastle Utd

Shane Ferguson admitted defeat in Bordeaux was "disappointing" but was still pleased to reach the next round of the Europa League

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

After reflecting on a "disappointing" first European defeat of the season, Shane Ferguson insisted it was still a case of mission accomplished for Newcastle United as they qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Despite their 2-0 defeat in the South-West of France, the Magpies still progressed to the last 32 of the competition as Group D runners-up.

Alan Pardew's side needed three points to topple their opponents at the top of the table and be seeded for the next stage, potentially keeping them away from the more-fancied teams when the draw is made later this month.

But at least they are in the hat and Ferguson told nufc.co.uk: "We knew that before the game and that was definitely the most important thing.

"But obviously we wanted to win tonight to make it a lot easier for us for the next stage.

"We just didn't play as well as we can, which was a bit disappointing, but the lads know that and hopefully we can bounce back now for the game against Fulham.

"It was a difficult pitch to play on; it wasn't the best and cut up very easily, but I suppose both teams had to play on it.

"But Bordeaux played well and they took their chances when they got them."

Ferguson was one of several youngsters to get an opportunity at the Stade Chaban-Delmas and he is loving every minute of the Europa League experience.

Unsurprisingly, he hopes it will continue - regardless of who United face in the next stage.

"We'll just have to see who comes," he said. "We'll prepare for whoever we get and hopefully we'll get an easy draw.

"Every game you play in the first-team is a great experience.

"You play with some good players and play against some good players as well, so it's great."

Click here to buy a Newcastle United shirt with Ferguson's name and number on the back