Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has called for his players to grasp the chance to play in Europe next season after revealing the side's current success is a year ahead of schedule.

The Magpies are level on points with Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League, narrowly behind on goal difference, with a spot in the Europa League up for grabs. Pardew praised the application of his players for this season's success and admits he is focused on bringing European football back to the north east ahead of Friday's clash with Swansea.

"We're a year ahead of schedule," Pardew said. "I didn't expect us to be as close as we are to those (European) spots but we're going to take the chance in front of us if we can. That's football - it doesn't often put an opportunity in front of you and you've got to grasp it."

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