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Pardew confident of keeping Toon stars

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is hopeful that the club's excellent campaign will persuade the core of his squad to remain at St James' Park and continue their progress next season.

The Magpies are on the cusp of Champions League football as they battle for fourth spot in the Premier League, but with their impressive form comes unwanted interest in some of their star players.

Tim Krul, Demba Ba and Cheik Tiote have all been linked with either Chelsea, Tottenham or both, and while Pardew knows that there will inevitably be admiring glances cast their way he also believes what they have achieved this year could just be enough to keep them in the North East.

"I had a very good side at West Ham, but I've not had the camaraderie of this group," said Pardew in the Daily Telegraph.

"I hope that means the players we have got all want to stay and we can do it all again next year. Clubs will look at these players now and try and take them off our hands. It might be that belief and love they have for each other will keep them here.

"I am hoping that we get to such a point where there are not really many places above where they can go. That is what we really want."

Tiote himself has no doubt that qualification for the Champions League will be a key factor in the prevention of a loss of talent.

"It will definitely convince players to stay," said Tiote, who has also been linked with a move to both Manchester sides. "It is important. If the team are playing in Europe, it is better for us to keep our best players."


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