Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Toon Can Get into Europe - Solano

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Toon Can Get into Europe - Solano

Article excerpt


NOBBY SOLANO has backed Newcastle United's bid to make their first foray into Continental competition for six years.

Solano was one of the last men to lead the Magpies into Europe and, as his two old clubs Newcastle and Aston Villa prepare to do battle this Sunday, the Peruvian legend sees no reason why United cannot emulate Stoke City or Fulham and earn themselves a slot in the Europa League.

United's last appearance on Euro soil in a competitive encounter came in the 2006/07 season on a deflating night in Alkmaar.

A 2-0 second-leg defeat saw Solano and his team-mates crash out on away goals.

However, Solano feels United CAN return this season under Alan Pardew.

He told the Chronicle: "I believe Newcastle have a chance.

"To be honest I am not sure they can make the top four, but they are in with a chance of Europe.

"There have been a few teams who have gone into Europe as shock candidates in the last few years like Stoke and Fulham, so Newcastle have a chance.

"There are a lot of games to play still but hopefully they can manage.

"It is always difficult, but so far so good."

Solano, who still lives in the city and coaches youngsters at the club's Academy, admits he can feel a buzz around St James' Park again.

He knows being back in Europe can get the Gallowgate End well and truly jumping.

He added: "The fans love Europe, but it is great for everybody - the club, the city - and it os nice to see Newcastle playing abroad.

"Don't forget Newcastle are still classed as a big club around Europe to many people, so it is great they could be back on the continent.

"If they do finish in European competition it will be a big bonus."

It was the 2-0 win at Ewood Park in midweek which had Newcastle fans singing about Europe again by the end of the triumph over Blackburn.

Solano - who this week joined STL Northern League outfit Newcastle Benfield as a coach - was impressed by the manner of the performance. …

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