ALAN Pardew is confident his Newcastle United players are ready for one last assault on the top four.
Newcastle need to beat Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday to have any chance of qualifying for Champions League football.
If United take all three points, and Tottenham Hotspur fail to beat Fulham, or Arsenal lose at West Browmich Albion, the club will end the season in the top four of the Premier League.
Even then, however, Newcastle might not qualify for the Champions League, as Chelsea will claim the spot usually given to the fourth-placed team if they beat Bayern Munich in this season’s final.
However, Pardew and his players can only focus on the job in hand – beating a strong Everton team which needs a victory to guarantee a higher finish than rivals Liverpool.
“It’s an exciting game to be involved in,” said Pardew. “It could be a crucial day for us.
“It’s the type of end-of-season game where we know what we need to do.”
Pardew admits it will be impossible to keep his players from finding out the scores from White Hart Lane and The Hawthorns.
“The way the world is with technology, we know that scores will be filtering through,” he added.
“It’ll be tough. We just have to focus on our own result.
“Without a win for us, we know we’ll get nothing on the day – regardless of what happens elsewhere. It’s a strange sort of day for us, because the other two games are linked.”
Whatever happens at Goodison Park, United won’t finish any lower than fifth, meaning this will have been the club’s most successful league campaign since 2003/04, Sir Bobby Robson’s last in charge.
“Knowing that we are going to finish fifth is a big boost for us,” said Pardew.
“We just go to Everton looking for the win. After that, we’ll see. We could still end the day in third for all we know.
“To be in with a chance of third spot going into the final game is just a phenomenal effort this season.
“I’m so proud of them all – everybody in the group has played their part.
“To be up there with the top teams is a great achievement, and to finish above Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton and other teams – who spent a big outlay – is fantastic.
“To round it off with a win at Everton would be fantastic for us.”