ALAN Pardew’s adamant Newcastle United won’t let down the fans that have battled snow to back them in Bordeaux.
Pardew and his players were sat on the club’s chartered aircraft for several hours at Newcastle airport yesterday.
They had to wait for the snow showers to stop and the runway to be cleared before setting off for France.
And the squad arrived in Bordeaux late last night ahead of tonight’s final Europa League group game at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.
However, Pardew, conscious of the problems the club’s 1,000-strong travelling support encounter on their travels in Europe, won’t use the delay as an excuse, whatever the result.
United’s supporters were made to walk from the centre of Bruges to the Jan Breydel Stadium for the club’s last away game in the competition.
And they will be marched to Stade Chaban-Delmas under a police escort.
“We’ve had our problems, but they’re nowhere near what they’ll have had,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“We get the luxury of five-star service. I hope they all arrive safely, and I certainly hope they don’t encounter the problems they had in Bruges.
“It’s not that far from the centre. We had a lot of messages from fans about that, and we are upset as they are about it.”
Pardew will hand starts to Nile Ranger, Gael Bigirimana, Sylvain Marveaux and Shane Ferguson against Bordeaux, who, like Newcastle, have already qualified for the Round of 32.
Mindful of Monday night’s Premier League game against Fulham, Pardew will rest a number of key players.
However, United still need to win to finish top of Group D, led by Bordeaux, and avoid a Champions League team.
“We’re conscious of how many fans have come out here,” added Pardew. “We don’t want to let them down, but we are limited by numbers.
“I’ve brought everyone who’s fit, and I’ll make that final selection in the morning.
“There’s no doubt Fergie, Sammy, Bigi and Marveaux will all start.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur go into their final Europa League games needing wins to guarantee qualification.
“The fact that we’ve qualified is very important,” said Pardew. “Liverpool and Spurs have got tricky games, and it looks like they’ll have to play their full sides.
“It’ll be interesting to see how they cope on Sunday. Playing on Monday night helps us a little bit.
“We’re very determined to continue what we did on Monday night.”