Alan Pardew trains Newcastle players at Stadium of Light

Hang on a minute! What is Newcastle boss Pardew doing at the Stadium of Light

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

19:27 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:27 GMT, 3 April 2013

I thought Paolo Di Canio was the new Sunderland manager! So why was it Newcastle boss Alan Pardew who was on the pitch at the Stadium of Light this afternoon

So too were his Newcastle players as they prepared for their Europa League quarter-final clash against Portuguese giants Benfica tomorrow night.

But fear not, Sunderland fans. It wasn't the Wearside Stadium of Light, but Benfica's fortress, named – in Portuguese, of course – the Estadio da Luz.

Preparations: Newcastle manager was on the pitch at Benfica's Estadio da Luz this afternoon

Preparations: Newcastle manager was on the pitch at Benfica's Estadio da Luz this afternoon

Pardew and Co are hoping to set themselves on course to a semi-final berth to add some gloss to an otherwise hapless season.

Despite being 15th in the Premier
League and by no means safe from relegation, Pardew says his side will
not let up in the European competition.

Pardew has even tapped up Celtic counterpart Neil Lennon for advice on how to get past the Portuguese side.

Speaking in Lisbon, Pardew said: 'We
have good contacts regarding this team. I know this city quite well and I
have some contacts here who know Benfica well.

'There is also Neil Lennon who we have been in contact with. I think it is important to get as much information as you can – as I'm sure Benfica have done with us.'

James Perch (L) Jonas Gutierrez (R) and Mike Williamson

Yohan Cabaye and Gael Bigirimana (R)

Game for a laugh: Yohan Cabaye and Gael Bigirimana (far right) share a joke, so too does James Perch (left)

Big ask: Mike Williamson is gearing up to keep the stars of Benfica at bay tomorrow night

Big ask: Mike Williamson is gearing up to keep the stars of Benfica at bay tomorrow night