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Pardew: "It's All To Play For"

NUFC Logo Newcastle United FC

Thursday night's 0-0 draw against Metalist Kharkiv means United's Europa League tie could still go either way according to Alan Pardew

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Alan Pardew felt his side should have had a two-goal lead to take to the Ukraine next week, but insists it's still all to play for in the Europa League round of 32 after Thursday's 0-0 draw against Metalist Kharkiv.

The unfortunate Papiss Cisse had two strikes - one in each half - chalked off on a frustrating evening at St. James' Park, and Pardew was disappointed not to have a lead to defend ahead of the second leg at the Metalist Stadium.  

But the Magpies manager took a great deal of heart from the display, and believes a similar performance in the away fixture next Thursday will give his team a great chance of progressing to the next stage.

He told nufcTV: "Both goals look onside from the replay.

"At the time I thought the first half was perhaps offside but that showed it wasn't; the second one, I knew wasn't offside. I just knew, the way the ball went in and the angle and everything.

"I just doubted that one and was proved right. It's difficult for us because we've played an almost perfect game. We've got a clean sheet, we were tough, we were fast, we were intelligent and we played some great football. We had some subs who changed it a little bit for us - a couple of moments from (Sylvain) Marveaux and Shola (Ameobi)'s presence made it a little bit more difficult for them.

"So all in all, I expect to win and it's hard to look the boys in the eye and say 'you should have won' because the two goals were onside. I think the fans knew it as well - the reaction from them at the end towards the officials said that - and it was a day for us where we really, really didn't get the rub of the green.

"But I can't fault the team. That was an outstanding effort and they were a good side, a real good side with some great players who we kept quiet, particularly Willian on the left. Mapou (Yanga-Mbiwa) did a good job on him.

"So it's all to play for. We got a clean sheet and no away goal so a clean sheet sees us through after 90 minutes and that gives us something to lean on when we go there.

"But we're going to need to play as well as that to get that."

To watch the full post-match nufcTV interview with Alan Pardew, click here