Press article:

UEFA Cup is no disgrace - 23/10/2002

UEFA Cup is no disgrace
UEFA is the target

Nolberto Solano believes Uefa Cup qualification should not be regarded as a failure if Newcastle's Champions League bid ends against Juventus. Sir Bobby Robson's men need nothing less than three points from the visit of the Turin giants to keep alive their faint hopes of progressing into the second group stage of the competition. However, Solano insists that, should the Magpies fail to beat Juve, a third-placed finish and qualification for the Uefa Cup should not be regarded as a failure. Solano said: "We have to believe we can take third place at the very least, and entry into the Uefa Cup would not be the end of the world."

Despite having failed to earn a single point from their opening three games, after losing to Dinamo Kiev, Feyenoord and Juve in the Stadio delle Alpi three weeks ago, Solano insists United are not far off making the grade in Europe's premier competition. "We knew it would be extremely difficult playing against top level opposition, and so it has proved," he added. "But we haven't embarrassed ourselves and we're not far away from making our mark at this level, so the Uefa Cup would be a good opportunity for us."

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