NUFC boss Alan Pardew has warning for Benfica ahead of Europa League second leg

STILL FIGHTING ... Alan Pardew.
STILL FIGHTING ... Alan Pardew.
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ALAN Pardew’s told Benfica that they could be in for a “long night” at St James’s Park.

Newcastle United lost 3-1 at the Estadio da Luz in the first leg of the club’s Europa League quarter-final last night.

And they face an unenviable task in the return leg on Tyneside.

But Pardew remains bullish that United can overturn Benfica’s two-goal lead, and book a place in the semi-finals of the competition.

“If they decide to sit back against us, they could have a long night,” Pardew told SportMail.

“Our crowd will play a part too. The pressure we can put on them is as much as they put on us.

“The referee made three or four tough decisions on us I thought as well – it can make a difference – but you always need an away goal in my opinion, and we have that in the bag.

“We know they have real assets, but we hurt them. Now it depends on how they set up.

“One thing is for sure, we’re going to have a go. We did that (last night).

“They say that fortune favours the brave, and we were so unlucky not to get more.”

Pardew had been derided by the Portuguese media for his pre-match assertion that Benfica would only finish between eighth and 10th if they played in the Premier League. But he refused to get drawn into a war of words after the game.

Pardew said: “I’m not going to get caught up in all of that.

“They are a good side and have real quality.

“For periods of the game, I was really beginning to feel we were comfortable.

“And I thought we could go for a second goal. Their two goals changed all of that.

“The scoreline does not reflect the performance, and that’s the killer blow for us, especially the third goal. We gifted them a second goal.

“And you can’t do that at this level, unfortunately.”