Pardew: Newcastle are playing football from the future!
Published 22:30 04/04/12 By Simon Bird
Alan Pardew has admitted Newcastle are a year "ahead of schedule" as they chase a Europa League spot.
The Newcastle chief takes his high fliers to Swansea on Friday on a run of three wins, and still in the hunt for fifth spot.
Pardew had originally hoped to climb into the top half this season before challenging next season, but the spectacular form of his side caused a rethink.
He has now ordered his squad to "grasp" their chance and finish the job.
He said: "I think we're a year ahead of schedule. I didn't expect us to be fighting as close as we are at the moment for a European spot, but we're going to take the chance in front of us if we can.
"Football doesn't often put an opportunity in front of you, so you've got to try to grasp it. I've been saying that to the players.
"We've got an opportunity, so let's grasp it with both hands and hopefully that's what we'll do in the remaining games.
"The target was to be in contention for Europe next season, now we find ourselves in contention for Europe this year. We find ourselves in a great position after the result on Sunday. We've got to try take the opportunity now.
"One of the keys has been the way the new players have settled. Victories have come at crucial times and we've been able to bounce back form defeats, some heavy ones as well, with good results."
Newcastle will be missing Danny Guthrie and Fabricio Coloccini, who has a chance of being fit to face Bolton next week, but Ryan Taylor is fit again.
Pardew added: "All the squad have played a part. That doesn't always happen at a team.
"You can go through a season and squad players come in and they do okay but the team doesn't get the same results, and there's a little bit of bad feeling goes on between one group and the other, but we've not had that.
"Players have come in and done as well as the ones that have gone out, and I've not lost a wink of sleep over selecting someone over somebody else and that's important.
"A lot of things were settled last year and we put down the foundations of how we played and conducted ourselves around the training ground and that's followed through this season, so it's been a lot easier for the new players to settle into that environment.
"You have to say we've had outstanding players, and you need that in the Premier League to achieve anything.
"You can't get those results without outstanding players - that's what we've got."