Alan Pardew suggests his Newcastle United side can give the Europa League a real shake this season.
The Magpies, without midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote, managed a 1-0 victory at Metalist Kharkiv thanks to Shola Ameobi’s second-half penalty to move through to the Round of 16 by virtue of a 1-0 aggregate and will now tackle Anzhi Makhachkala in the next stage.
"It's an important result for us. We lost Cheick just before the game, but Vurnon [Anita] did an excellent job coming in late. He only knew an hour before we kicked off that he was going to play,” Pardew said.
"With [Hatem] Ben Arfa coming back and Cheick to add to that side, I really feel as though we can give this competition a good go."
Newcastle, placed 16th in the Premier League, meet 15th-placed Southampton on Sunday and Pardew is well aware of the importance of that clash.
"We had some real heroes today and it's been a great week for us. We just need to repeat it on Sunday because that will be an important game,” he added.
"It could give us some breathing space in the Premier League, so we need to recover quickly. There will be changes for Sunday and hopefully we will get a result."