ALAN Pardew’s under no illusions about the importance of staying in the Premier League to Newcastle United – on and off the pitch.
The club’s top-flight status is on the line with two games left to play.
But a win over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road tomorrow could be enough to secure another season of Premier League football – and a slice of a £5bn TV windfall.
The financial imperatives of staying among the elite have never been greater given the increased broadcast revenues which will kick in next season.
And United manager Pardew – whose side are three points ahead of third-bottom Wigan Athletic – feels the pressure on managers and players has never been greater.
If Newcastle can stay up, Pardew believes the club’s squad will be significantly stronger next season.
“I think that’s put extra pressure on everybody,” Pardew told SportMail. “That might be why the league’s as congested as it is.
“It’s almost like everybody wants it. It’s like a golden chalice at the end of a rocky pool with crocodiles and everything in it.
“If we can get a win, that comes in. You’ve got a chance to take the squad forward in terms of new recruits.”
United’s form away from home has been dreadful this season, with Pardew’s side having claimed just one win on their domestic travels.
Newcastle played out a goalless draw at West Ham last weekend.
And Pardew’s desperate for the club’s long-suffering and loyal away fans to be rewarded with a victory at Loftus Road. “Both games are cup finals,” said Pardew. “We’ve got to play like we did at West Ham – with passion and determination.
“We’ve got to try to win the game. Whatever’s thrown at us, we’ve certainly got to get something, hopefully a win.
“Our away fans have been phenomenal this year. They’ve seen us so close. We should have won at Stoke and we should have got a draw at Man United.
“All these games they’ve gone to and been disappointed. It would be nice to get a win for them alone, let alone the city. We want to say thanks. Hopefully, we can do that with a positive result.”
The objective before a ball was kicked was to challenge for a top-four place, but Pardew will still celebrate if the club stays up.
“It would be a great moment for us,” he said. “The squad’s on tenterhooks – we’re all nervous.
“A little bit of that got eased with that result (Wigan’s defeat) in the week, and that might help us.”