sport

Kemp feels for struggling Toon

Stoke assistant manager Dave Kemp has sympathy with Newcastle's struggles to marry success in the Premier League with Europa League progress.

Newcastle travel to the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday night in 14th place in the table and hoping to end a run of three straight league defeats.

In the midst of that run, a 1-1 draw with Maritimo ensured their qualification for the knockout stages of the Europa League, matching Stoke's achievement last season.

Kemp said: "It is difficult, I don't think there's any question about it. There's a lot of games in the Europa League as well.

"We got hit with a lot of long-distance travel. I don't think Newcastle have had the same problem with that, but it's when you get back and are trying to prepare for the game on a Sunday.

"We did the best we could but we had some below-par performances after Europa League matches so we do know how difficult it can be.

"But this is a different situation, they haven't had a Europa League game coming into this one and I'm sure they'll be well prepared."