Alan Pardew wants Newcastle to finish above Manchester United for the first time in Premier League history, and has hit back at claims his side are already coasting towards the summer, reports the Daily Star.

The Toon boss believes his side are capable of closing the four point gap on David Moyes’s struggling side, and insists it would be a major scalp to finish above the Premier League champions for the first time.

“They’re directly above us, that’s why I’ve picked them out, not because of David Moyes, who is a big pal of mine,” Pardew said.

“They happen to be the team directly in front of us.

“When we finished fifth two seasons ago, what was the incentive then? There was a point in that season, in February when everyone had written us off saying the season was over, but look what happened.

“When we’ve got all our players available, we’re a tough nut to crack and we’ve proved that against the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham this year.

“People say our season is over, which is an insult to our professionalism.

“They say we have no incentive for the rest of the season, but we have a professional incentive – and it irritates me as manager of Newcastle when I hear different.”

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