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Thursday, December 20, 2012
Pardew 'knows little' about Metalist

Kristan Heneage

Alan Pardew has said he knows little of Newcastle United's Europa League last-32 opponents Metalist Kharkiv.

• Europa League draw

Newcastle entered Thursday's draw in Nyon unseeded after finishing second in Group D behind French side Bordeaux.

By contrast, their opponents, who currently sit 4th in the Ukrainian Premier League, topped Group K, ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, Rosenborg and Rapid Vienna.

When asked how much he knew of their eastern European opponents, Pardew replied: "Not much, really. I do know it's a long journey, I've had a look at that, and they won their group, so it's a tough agenda for us.

"It's a tough draw in terms of travel; the opposition, I know very little about. I can't even comment on that until such time as we do some studying."

Meanwhile, Metalist sporting director Eugene Krasnikov has said that the draw against Newcastle provides an important test for the club.

The Ukrainians will travel to St James' Park for the first leg on February 14, with the return leg at the Metalist stadium a week later.

Speaking to the club's official website, he said: "We were waiting for this draw. Such a test, as an encounter with the English club - for us it is very serious.

"We are pleased to play with them. It is a big challenge for our team. In the Europa League there are no weak teams. This is an important test."

Should the Magpies be able to conquer Metalist, they will face the winner of Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and German club Hannover 96.




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