Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has said he will not change his approach to the Europa League despite seeing the Magpies slip closer to the Premier League relegation zone.
Pardew's side are in 15th place, three points above the relegation zone, after a 4-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday.
But the manager said he would not alter his attitude to European competition, even though he believes the Europa campaign has cost them league points.
He told the Journal: "Apart from Bordeaux away, we've been very, very strong in Europe, but we've lost bodies in this campaign. It has cost us points and, without a shadow of a doubt, we would not be in this position if we were not in the Europa League.
"However, we are, and we've approached the Europa League every time to try and win the game. You can fault us for that, but we think that's the right approach and we will carry that forward into Thursday.
"There are too many games in the competition. I am never going to change my opinion on that, even if we win the thing."
The manager added: "We always knew it would be the remaining games in the Premier League which would be the important ones, and that isn't going to change.
"After the Stoke game I said was an important win for us and put us in a position where I felt 40 points was achievable, and I have not changed my opinion. You need 40 points this year for sure."
Meanwhile, defender Steven Taylor has dismissed talk of the club being further drawn into the relegation scrap, saying he believed they would secure their top-flight status soon.
"I am confident in my team-mates," he told the Evening Chronicle. "We are not looking down - we are looking up. We are looking at who we can catch and chase.
"In the next few weeks I am looking to see this all wrapped up in the Premier League, and hopefully we can look forward to the Europa League."