ALAN Pardew’s certain of one thing at the Metalist Stadium – goals.
Newcastle United take on Metalist Kharkiv tonight with a place in the Europa League’s Round of 16 at stake.
The first-leg at St James’s Park ended goalless.
And that scoreline in the return leg in the Ukraine would see the tie go to penalties.
However, Pardew – who says the “one agenda” for Newcastle is to score goals” – can’t see that happening.
A score draw would be enough to see United through to the next stage, where the club would meet either Anzhi Makhachkala or Hannover. What Pardew, mindful of the importance of Sunday’s Premier League home game against Southampton, doesn’t want is extra time.
“I think we can get a score draw – or win,” Pardew told SportMail.
“I think it’s even.
“The one agenda for us is to score goals – I don’t want extra time.
“I don’t see that happening – I don’t think these two teams can go through another 90 minutes without scoring,
“I think they’ll score, and I think we’ll score.”
Meanwhile, Pardew left defender Davide Santon behind on Tyneside because of a “sore ankle”.
And he hasn’t ruled out handing a debut to left-back Massadio Haidara, who joined Newcastle from Nancy in last month’s transfer window.
The 20-year-old is yet to make an appearance for United.
Asked if it was too early for Haidara to start a game for Newcastle,
Pardew said: “Possibly. Possibly not.
“We’ve brought players in to play. It’s a decision I’m confident in making whether it’s Massadio or (James) Perch or (Vurnon) Anita, who can play there. They’re the three options.”