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By ESPN Staff

Roeder wary of Celta threat ahead of UEFA tie

Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder has warned his players not to be lulled into a false sense of security as they attempt to book their place in the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup tonight.

The Magpies face Spanish side Celta Vigo at St James' Park knowing a victory will ensure their continued participation into the new year after victories over Fenerbahce and Palermo.

However Fernando Vasquez's side have beaten Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna away from home in the Primera Liga this season, and Roeder believes Celta represent the biggest test so far.

Roeder said: 'It will be the toughest game.

'We have put ourselves in a good position by winning the first two games.

'In my opinion, it was a surprise Celta Vigo drew their first game. They are a very dangerous side, especially when they play away from home.

'I watched them very carefully at Real Madrid and I watched them again on Sunday at Deportivo, where they had a fantastic derby win.

'They are an exceptionally good counter-attacking team.'

Newcastle's stuttering Barclays Premiership campaign has been in stark contrast to their performances in Europe, where they have prospered.

That has been puzzling to Roeder because he is convinced they were handed the most testing of the eight UEFA Cup groups.

He said: 'It is the toughest group. I do not care what anyone has written, it is the toughest group.

'We have done terrifically well to have won both games.

'Fenerbahce have got a European track record. They have not stopped getting good results since we played them, and that was a terrific 1-0 win.

'Palermo are top of Serie A. That did get the credit it deserved, but undoubtedly when I go through all the groups and look at every other team, this is the toughest group by far, and, so far, we have done terrifically.'

Roeder will again have to pick from a weakened squad after losing winger Damien Duff and central defender Craig Moore with knee and hamstring injuries, which could sideline them for several weeks.

He is likely to rest midfielder Kieron Dyer, who made his first start for seven months at Arsenal last weekend, with Sunday's league clash with Portsmouth in mind.