Pardew insists success the only way to keep top stars
It feels like the Europa League has moved up a notch in terms of its significance in Newcastle.
That could have been down to the bold admission from Alan Pardew that his side is aiming to win it, the arrival of more credible opposition in Bordeaux or the potential problems when the Magpies head to Club Brugge early next month.
Estimated figures put the travelling support for that game at around 6,000. The end in the Jan Breydel Stadium they will be housed on November 8 holds 1,470. Club officials are frustrated at the situation and would like more tickets to be allocated.
Before then, Pardew has work to do. There is no question that the European bar has finally been raised with the visit tonight of Bordeaux, who defeated Brugge 4-0 in their opening Group D game last month.
He first had to deny suggestions that Spurs had lined up Yohan Cabaye during the summer to replace Luka Modric.
"There was no offer from Spurs, but of course the likes of Yohan will be courted by top sides," said Pardew. "The only way to keep the likes of Yohan, Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba is with success.
"Since we have entered this competition, we have entered it to win it and this is a significant game to up the levels.
"The team has to be good enough to beat Bordeaux but I have Manchester United coming on Sunday and have to make sure the Premier League result is right too."