The Magpies 1-1 draw against Portuguese side Maritimo saw Newcastle through to the knock-out stages of the competition; however they lost both Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse to injury that will rule them out for a few weeks at least.
Alan Pardew was delighted at securing qualification; however is ruing the injuries that has cost the Newcastle manager two key players in what is already a wafer thin squad already:
“We are just having blow after blow really.
“Hatem and Papiss both got injured so we are going to have to wait and see on Papiss. His thigh stiffened up at half-time and we didn’t take a chance. Hatem will probably miss Sunday.
“That affected us because we were short on the bench. We never really had enough attacking flair on the pitch to keep the ball and keep the pressure on. Therefore we were sitting really and unfortunately we conceded.
“We have got two very good players there who affect the game and when they come off the pitch, suddenly it gives the other team a lift.
“But we needed to get a result and got that and got through.
“I look at this competition – with a sticky second half today but otherwise I think we have been excellent.” (Sky Sports)