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Apr 5, 2013

Cabaye wants focus on survival

Yohan Cabaye has urged Newcastle not to let their Europa League campaign hamper their efforts to remain in the Premier League.

• Blog: Newcastle still in it

The Magpies suffered a 3-1 quarter-final first leg defeat at the hands of Benfica on Thursday, with Papiss Cissé twice striking the post.

Disappointed with his side's result, Cabaye has said the club's attentions must now turn to the visit of Fulham on Sunday, as they look to redress poor domestic form and secure their Premier League status for next season.

"The most important thing is to stay in the Premier League," he told the Chronicle. "Last season we fought to play in these games. Now we have to stay together and be focused on our last games.

"We have to work hard at the training ground. We're disappointed and we started the game well. We scored, and we had a few good chances to score. At the end we gave away two goals. It was hard."

Needing a 2-0 win in their second leg at St James' Park, Cabaye remains confident that his side can achieve the feat after two clean sheets in their last two home ties.

"I think the chances we had can give us hope for the second leg at home," he explained. "We have got to play to win the game. We can still win this tie. Our fans were very good again. At St James's Park it will be different. If we start well, the atmosphere and the crowd can help us get to the semi-final.

"Now the first leg is over, we have to be focused on Sunday's game. It's very, very important for us to win the game. I think we have enough quality in the team to play well and win the game. It's not enough to say that, the most important thing is to fight on the pitch and play to win the last seven games."

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