Pardew: We're not favourites
By Football News
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has dismissed suggestions his team are favourites to reach the Europa League quarter-finals.
The English Premier League side battled to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie against Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia on Thursday.
But Pardew was unwilling to accept the favourites' tag, saying Guus Hiddink's side could still be a threat on the break at St James' Park.
"I wouldn't say we are favourites because they have got good counter-attacking abilities in the team, but it's going to be a very different game at St James' Park," he said.
"But we really need to set it up on Sunday (against Stoke). Sunday is something we need to put right.
"If we can get a win there, then I think the mood in our stadium is going to be something that's going to be very difficult for Anzhi to cope with.
"We didn't really have to fight the crowd today and that probably helped us to settle."
Dangerous Anzhi playmaker Willian came off after 23 minutes due to injury and not even an attack featuring Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o could break down Newcastle.
Pardew felt his team were worthy of a point and praised goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
"We got what we deserved tonight. We came and gave a really disciplined display," he said.
"Rob had to make two good saves and really and truly, if someone had said that to me before the game I would have taken that.
"That's a really good display in the conditions and environment we were in."
Hiddink missed the post-match press conference due to illness but Anzhi assistant Zeljko Petrovic said he was content with his side's display despite the draw.
"We played tonight a very complicated game against a team from the Premier League, and you can see that between the teams that we played before Newcastle, there's a big difference to the Premier League teams," Petrovic said.
"We are not disappointed tonight because we played a good game, tactically a very strong game, and Newcastle actually didn't play a Premier League game, they played a European game."