Newcastle should be in the top seven says Pardew

AMBITION: Alan Pardew

AMBITION: Alan Pardew

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ALAN Pardew has challenged his Newcastle United players to live up to the expectations – and climb the Premier League table

Pardew’s side went into this afternoon’s home game against Swansea City lying 10th in the table.

Newcastle have struggled to find the attacking fluency, and defensive solidity, which saw the club challenge for a Champions League place last season.

In the end, United finished fifth in the table and returned to continental competition through the Europa League.

And the challenge for Pardew, his staff and the club’s squad is to climb up the table over the coming weeks.

Newcastle are just four points behind sixth-placed West Ham United – who won 1-0 at St James’s Park last week – and the margins are slim.

“That’s what’s frustrating, but I’m not going to bury my head in the sand about the West Ham performance,” Pardew said.

“Or indeed the West Brom performance, where we won and we know we perhaps shouldn’t have won.

“By the same token I think there’s been a little bit of an over-reaction.

“I can remember us playing as poorly last year in some games, like the West Brom game at home where we were well beaten.

“There was the 0-0 against Swansea, where we weren’t very good. We had these games last year.

“But the expectation has risen – we should be in the top seven.

“It’s understandable after what we did last year.”