Last Updated: Fri, 08 Mar 2013 07:41
Alan Pardew refused to accept Newcastle are favourites to reach the Europa League quarter-finals despite a 0-0 first leg draw at Anzhi.
The Magpies became the first side to deny Anzhi Makhachkala a European victory on home soil this season as they fought out a 0-0 draw on the artificial pitch at a wintry Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Indeed, they might have headed into next Thursday night's second leg with a precious away goal had Hatem Ben Arfa accept the glorious opportunity which came his way on his 26th birthday.
In the event, the two sides will battle it out at St James' Park with everything to play for, and Pardew is relishing the prospect.
He said: "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.
"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, and that probably helped us to settle."
Ben Arfa might have won it for the visitors after being played in by Yoan Cabaye, but Vladimir Gabulov blocked his ambitious chipped effort.
However, Pardew said: "We got what we deserved. We came and gave a really disciplined display.
"Rob (Elliot) 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."
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