ALAN Pardew’s hoping to be in seventh heaven at the full-time whistle at the DW Stadium.
Newcastle United side are looking to record a seventh successive Premier League victory against relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic.
A win would take fourth-placed Newcastle six points clear of nearest rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who play Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.
Pardew would be forgiven for taking a cautious approach to the Wigan game, but he’s focused on claiming all three points to pile the pressure on Spurs and sixth-placed Chelsea.
“We’re going for seven wins in a row,” said Pardew. “It’ll be a marvellous feat if we can do it.
“In our last result (a 3-0 win over Stoke), we really played well and caused trouble for the top teams.
“In some ways I feel we have to win at Wigan. We won’t be taking a draw at any time during the game. Even if there is 20 seconds left, we’ll be trying to win the game.”
While there is so much at stake between now and the end of the season, Pardew believes the pressure is off his team, which is already guaranteed a place in the Europa League.
That can’t be said for Tottenham, who looked destined for a return to the Champions League after a year’s absence until their season started to steadily unravel after their manager, Harry Redknapp, was linked with the vacant England post.
And Pardew’s looking for his team to crank up the pressure on Spurs, and, to a lesser extent, Chelsea, who will take the Champions League place reserved for the fourth-placed team if they beat Bayern Munich in next month’s final.
“It’s fair to say that, yes,” added Pardew. “I wouldn’t like it to be the other way round, put it that way, so what we have to try to do is create some pressure.
“That said, though, we have to win at Wigan, which isn’t easy.”
However, whatever happens in the remaining four games, United’s season will be an unqualified success, the club having already exceeded all expectations.
“That’s why it gives me a free hand to attack the Champions League,” said Pardew.
“We’re now going to be in Europe – that’s the scenario. We can look forward to that, but in the meantime, we have four games left to see what our final points total can be.”