ALAN Pardew is adamant that his rejuventated Newcastle United side can carry on up the Premier League table.
The club moved above Sunderland and into 14th place after beating Southampton 4-2 at St James’s Park yesterday.
Pardew believes Newcastle, having won three out of their last four domestic games, are now a different proposition thanks to last month’s transfer-window arrivals.
Moussa Sissoko scored his third goal for the club against Southampton, while Mathieu Debuchy was arguably United’s man of the match.
The challenge now for Newcastle – who face Capital One Cup-winners Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday – is to climb further up the table.
The Southampton win means the club is now three points off 10th-placed Stoke City – and six clear of the relegation zone.
“I think we’re a different proposition now,” Pardew said.
“We’ve beaten Chelsea, Metalist and Southampton. Southampton are every bit as good as the other two I’ve mentioned.
“They’re three massive wins, and we came close to getting something at Tottenham. We’ve made great strides. I said before the game ‘let’s attack the top 10’.”
Pardew’s also confident the club – which faces Anzhi Makhachkala in the next round of the Europa League – can progress in on the continent.
“We know the Europa League is on for us – we know that,” added Pardew.
“There’s no doubt about that. We’ve got a really tough team to play, but we’re looking forward to it.
“All our players are on long contracts going forward, so next year looks promising.
“Hopefully, we set the scene for next year like Everton did.”
Meanwhile, Pardew isn’t banking on a cup-winning hangover from Swansea.
“Ideally, they go celebrating, but we’ll see,” he said. “They might be super relaxed. The way they play, that’s probably dangerous.”
Elliot received some praise from the manager after his fine display in goal.
“Robbie, after the first goal, was terrific,” Pardew said.
“He took some crosses and looked accomplished.
“He kicked really well. His distribution’s going to add to us. He’s very accurate. That helped us.”
Elliot was handed a start with Steve Harper also sidelined with a knee problem, and 19-year-old Jak Alnwick was named on the bench.
Newcastle started slowly and fell behind within three minutes as Morgan Schneiderlin pounced to fire home from Rickie Lambert’s knock-down.
The Magpies responded belatedly and Moussa Sissoko levelled 12 minutes before the break, side-footing home Yoan Gouffran’s cross after he had made the most of Yohan Cabaye’s pass.
Papiss Cisse got in on the act with three minutes of the half remaining when he blasted home a dipping 30-yard volley off the underside of the cross bar, but Lambert dragged the visitors back into it five minutes after the restart with his 100th strike for Southampton.
Cabaye restored the home side’s lead with a 67th-minute penalty after substitute Danny Fox was adjudged to have handled Mathieu Debuchy’s volleyed cross, and the full-back was out of luck once again 11 minutes from time when his attempted clearance hit team-mate Jos Hooiveld and flew into the net.
Newcastle: Elliot,Debuchy,Coloccini (Yanga-Mbiwa 45), Steven Taylor,Santon,Tiote,Cabaye (Perch 77),Sissoko,Gutierrez, Gouffran (Anita 87),Cisse. Subs Not Used: Alnwick,Marveaux,Shola Ameobi,Obertan.
Southampton: Boruc,Clyne,Hooiveld,Yoshida,Shaw (Fox 57), Steven Davis (Ramirez 65),Schneiderlin,Cork,Lallana, Rodriguez (Puncheon 81),Lambert. Subs Not Used: Kelvin Davis,Fonte,Ward-Prowse,Mayuka.
Att: 52,259 Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).