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Pardew: Europa schedule is tough

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says his side are finding the quick turnaround between Europa League and Premier League matches difficult to deal with.

The Magpies faced Brugge in the Europa League on Thursday before playing a Premier League tie against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Despite seeing the Magpies pick up victories in both matches, Pardew said the last-ditch win over the Baggies had provided "an unexpected two points".

He added: "If I am honest, I was gutted last week that we did not get the three at Sunderland because I felt we deserved it. We did not deserve the three points in this game, but we took them.

"This Thursday-Sunday is tough on us - we do not seem to have got the hang of it. I make no bones about that.

"I have been picking sides which I think suit the game. Would we have won [at Brugge] with the team we played at Sunderland? The energy we put out that day, I don't think we would have.

"You could argue I left nine players out from that team, but if they had all played on Thursday, I think we could have got beaten on Thursday. The energy levels we had to produce were phenomenal."

Pardew also admitted that his side are lacking the kind of rhythm they displayed last season, making it difficult for them to impose their preferred style of play on games.

He explained: "Last year, we looked like a rhythmic team, keeping the ball well and moving teams around, and at the minute we are just hanging in there."

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