Newcastle boss Alan Pardew firmly believes qualifying for the Champions League this season would eclipse even Sir Bobby Robson's feat.

Robson dragged the Magpies from 11th place at the end of the 2000-01 campaign into fourth place 12 months later and guided them into the second group stage of the competition - their last flirtation with Europe's elite after they lost on penalties to Partizan Belgrade in the final qualifying round the following season, having finished third.

Pardew's unlikely lads are currently level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham and could yet rub shoulders with the big boys once again, and he said: "It's a different kind of scenario. I am not under-estimating that achievement (by Robson) but if we get in there, it would be astonishing."

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