Alan Pardew does not accept domestic cups are not a “priority” for Newcastle United anymore.
That was the verdict delivered from the boardroom last month when United’s financial director John Irving admitted staying in the Premier League was, from a financial point of view, the club’s priority.
Winning a trophy plays secondfiddle to that. Pardew accepts, with the way the Premier League has developed, it makes sense for the suits to say that.
However, he rejected the idea the cup competitions no longer matter to Newcastle and said he feels the club now have the strength to attack the competitions.
He said: “I think all Premier League managers are under real pressure from their boards, from their owners to get a strong Premier League finish because of the finance and the prestige of being a Premier League club.
“Forget about everything else – that is the priority for the owners.
“However, for the managers of course it isn’t. Our ambition is to win trophies so every competition we enterwe try to win.
“Last year when we were in the Europa League we put strong teams out.
“We reached the quarter-finals and it was touch and go against Benfica, we almost won it. We really prioritised ourselves to win that trophy but when we came around to the domesticCups we had awful teams to put out.
“I said that as a manager after the games. It wasn’t good enough for Newcastle. It wasn’t because I had them in the background, they were just not fit. We had a real bad run with injuries.
“This year, we want to win a Cup, of course we want to win a trophy.
“Can you imagine Newcastle winning a trophy? No-one would love that more than myself for our fans.” He added: “We have the resources this year to have a go in the cups.
“I like to think since I have been there the squad has grown into a stronger squad.
“We have a really good first 11 but the 11 underneath it is not far away.
“That bodes well when you have to put those guys in to keep the team at the same level. I’m a little bit more confident this year. We’re not far away from the team which finished fifth in terms of quality.”