MIKE Ashley’s willing Newcastle United on towards the Champions League.
Alan Pardew’s side take on Wigan Athletic tomorrow looking to take another stride towards the competition.
Newcastle are fourth in the Premier League with four games left to play, which would mean Champions League football if Chelsea lose to Bayern Munich in next month’s final.
And the footballing and financial significance isn’t lost on anyone at the club, not least owner Ashley.
“Mike’s very determined that we push as hard as we can for the Champions League,” said Pardew.
“He’s been very supportive, and we’ll try to do that for him.”
While frustrated that fourth place might not yield Champions League football, Pardew wouldn’t be disappointed if his team play in next season’s Europa League.
“I certainly wouldn’t say it’s like a second-tier,” said Pardew.
“There’s not much between the Champions League teams and Europa League teams. The best of the best is in the Champions League, but the Europa League’s under-played.
“The semi-finals last night were fantastic.”