HATEM Ben Arfa is adamant Newcastle United are too good to go down – and he’s desperate for Alan Pardew’s side to prove it
The forward is pushing for a start against Liverpool at St James’s Park this evening after coming through a punishing week on the training pitch.
Ben Arfa has come off the bench in the past three games after recovering from a hamstring problem.
And his return to fitness has given Pardew a lift, such is his ability to win a game.
Ben Arfa’s form in the latter months of last season helped Newcastle qualify for the Europa League, and the 26-year-old believes another top-five finish is a realistic aim for next season.
However, 16th-placed United must first secure their Premier League status.
“Last season we finished fifth and had a great season,” said Ben Arfa.
“Since we signed players like Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Yoan Gouffran in January, we have an even stronger team.
“It was great last year, but the squad wasn’t too big.
“We need to finish this season strongly. Then next year we can challenge again for the top five or six.
“The squad is better – we have great players.
“But we’ve got to start pulling away – we don’t want to be in the Championship.
“This team has talent and can do good things.”