The Magpies currently sit eighth on the Premier League table, four points behind seventh-placed United, and Pardew is using that as a dangling carrot for his players to try and reach before the season is out.
"You are never safe from relegation, in my opinion, until you have 40 points in the bag, so we are not safe but there's always an incentive in football, always," Pardew said of his side that has recorded 37 points so far this term.
"Your professional pride is the minimum but the (Fulham) result at Manchester United (on Sunday) was a result that cheered me up because it gives us a chance to try to catch them and, if we try to finish above Manchester United, that would be a hell of an achievement for this club regardless of anything else.
"That's the immediate incentive for us and then we will see where it takes us."
For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tribalfootball