SYLVAIN Marveaux says the best is yet to come from Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United side.
Marveaux and his team-mates qualified for the Europa League’s quarter-finals on Thursday night thanks to a dramatic 1-0 win over Anzhi Makhachkala.
And Pardew’s improving team are looking to take another stride towards Premier League safety at the DW Stadium tomorrow, when they face relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic.
Newcastle look a different side to that which struggled through the first half of the season.
Next up in Europe for United are Benfica in the competition’s quarter-finals next month.
Marveaux – who has set up injury-time goals for Papiss Demba Cisse in United’s last two games – is confident the club can continue to progress at home and abroad.
“We can do better,” said Marveaux, who is becoming an increasingly influential figure on the field for Pardew, who yesterday ruled out Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) for the rest of the season.
“It’s good because we have been better in the Premier League as well, and to have two wins in a row is good for our confidence.
“I think we have the quality in this team, especially now with the new players. I think we can do better than the quarter-finals.”
Newcastle spent the first half against Anzhi on the back foot, but fought back after the break.
And just as he had done against Stoke on Sunday, Marveaux found Cisse in the box in added time.
The striker did to the rest to take his goal tally for the season to 10.
“It was great – a little like we did at the weekend,” added the 26-year-old. “I just wanted to put this cross in – Papiss told me to put balls like this in.
“It was the last moment of the game. I was just trying to put the ball in the box, as Papiss is a goalscorer.
“I had a feeling it was coming, because they were tired. We had a lot of balls just outside the box. We just had to find a combination or solution. That happened in the last second, and we deserved it.
“We were really happy to avoid extra-time. We have to keep going at the weekend.”
The Europa League had been a distraction in the early months of the season as a depleted United battled relegation, but the competition is now being prioritised by Pardew, who has the strength in depth to battle on two fronts.
“Everyone wanted this win really badly,” said Marveaux.
“It’s good. We have a lot of players, so the more games we have, the better it is.”
“It’s different games and a different competition. We’re playing top clubs. We’re showing we’re a good side.”