Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will head into the knockout stages of the Europa League in bullish mood after seeing the Magpies limp across the finishing line.
The unconvincing 1-1 home draw with Maritimo, coupled with Bordeaux's 2-1 victory over Club Brugge, means that both will be in the hat for the resumption of the competition in February. Pardew's men will need to win their final Group D fixture in France if they are to return to the top of the pile, which in theory would ensure a more favourable draw.
However, the 51-year-old is confident that Newcastle should not even fear the Champions League drop-outs who will enter the competition at that stage. He said: "It's sometimes misleading, the competition, when the Champions League teams come down, how motivated they are for it. It's almost a secondary competition for them."
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