Last Updated: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 08:19
Alan Pardew has given up on Newcastle's Champions League hopes following the 2-1 defeat at Arsenal and is focused on the Europa League.
Newcastle gave themselves a chance of pulling off a shock win when Hatem Ben Arfa gave them the lead but the Gunners hit back to win thanks to goals from Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen.
Vermaelen's winner game five minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game and Pardew says at that point the Magpies were themselves pushing for the win to boost their top four chances.
Those hopes were blown away by the late goals and Pardew now wants to make sure they still finish in a Europa League place.
"The draw wouldn't have made any difference to us," Pardew told reporters following the game. "We needed to win to stay in there and we ain't going to go there. We must go for the Europa League now. We have a lot to play for still.
"At that point [before Vermaelen's goal] we were not trying to win it, if I'm honest. Sometimes when a team is pushing on high there is the greatest opportunity.
"We had a few problems towards the end of the game. We lost Chieck [Tiote] to cramp and Danny Simpson had an injury but we had no subs left. Danny just couldn't get back to stop the goal.
"In the second half we couldn't have done more to stop a team that is in good form. For commitment and effort, you couldn't fault us tonight."
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