ALAN Pardew says the pressure will be off Newcastle United on the final day of the season – and on Champions League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Pardew’s side were beaten 2-0 by Manchester City in a fiercely-contested fixture at St James’s Park yesterday.
Yaya Toure’s two second-half goals left the club fifth in the Premier League ahead of the final round of fixtures.
While Pardew’s players left St James’s Park desperately disappointed at the result, Arsenal and Spurs’s draws mean a top-four finish isn’t beyond United.
“We haven’t won, but the other results have gone our way, so we’re still in there,” Pardew told SportMail.
“I’m really happy because the players couldn’t have given more.”
Newcastle wrap up their campaign at Everton, while fourth-placed Tottenham, a point ahead of them, are at home to Fulham.
Third-placed Arsenal, meanwhile, are at West Bromwich Albion.
If United beat Everton at Goodison Park, and Spurs fail to win or Arsenal lose, the club will end the season in the Premier League’s top four, and possibly in the Champions League depending on the result of this year’s final.
“You look at Tottenham and Arsenal. Arsenal have to win, and so do Tottenham,” added Pardew. “The reason being is that fourth place isn’t guaranteed (Champions League football), so they’ll have to go for it to get third.
“I think that is going to work in our favour. If I was Tottenham, I’d be a bit nervous against Fulham at home.
“If I was Arsenal going to West Brom, I’d also be nervous.”
While much will depend on the results at White Hart Lane and the The Hawthorns, one thing is clear, Newcastle must beat Everton, itself no mean feat.
“We just have to win and do everything we can to try to get that,” added Pardew. “Then we see how the other two games unfold.”