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Brugge not An easy ride insists Toon ace VURNON; Magpies urged not to underestimate struggling Belgians.

VURNON ANITA has warned his Newcastle United team-mates not to underestimate lowly Club Brugge tomorrow night ahead of their potentially decisive Europa League encounter. The Jupiler Pro League outfit are in freefall after losing five games on the spin in all competitions, and parted company with Georges Leekens over the weekend.

However, Anita is acutely aware of the threat posed by the Belgians, having played in bordering Holland with Ajax only last season and watched the Jan Breydel Stadium side qualify for the Champions Legaue.

Three points will see the Magpies into the next stage with two games to spare in Group D. However, Anita - who arrived in Brugge today with

his teammates - told the Chronicle: "We want to go through in the Europa League.

"The opposition is very good, so we must keep on working hard to go through. It is very close.

"The game against Brugge is important and we must go there to win the game." Anita, who made his Premier League return at Liverpool on Sunday, appeared in the reverse fixture at St James' Park last month against Brugge.

After missing out against Sunderland and West Brom in the Premier League, he admits he is delighted to be back in the fold.

The Dutch international midfielder added: "For me, it is good to play as I have not played so many games.

"It is good to have games in your legs and if the coach needs me I will play. We will see what happens."

Anita has been in and out of the side this season, but squad rotation has been an important part of Alan Pardew's game plan so far as he balances the Europa League and Premier League carefully. With Newcastle on the brink of qualification in Europe and three points out of the top four, it is a formula which has been far from a disaster.

Anita, though, is pleased to have 90 minutes under his belt after the draw at Anfield.

He said: "That is important. I am happy I started and finished the game also.

"That is good. It went well. I went to midfield and then rightback at the end.

"I can play both positions - that is no problem.

"It was the same in Holland - I must keep on working hard in training.

"When my chance is there, I must take it."

United lost the lead at Anfield and also lost Fabricio Coloccini to a costly red card.

However, Anita added: "We were pleased at the end. We were a man down and they kept on pressing us.

"It was difficult but after the game everybody was happy with one point.

"After the goal, we kept the ball. They were chasing us. It is a wonderful feeling if you keep the ball and play football.

"It was amazing to play at Anfield. The atmosphere was fantastic."

Leekens' cash row AXED Club Brugge boss George Leekens wants [euro]2.5m in compensation after parting company with the struggling Belgian side over the weekend.

That is the backdrop to Newcastle's Group D clash tomorrow night, with ex-Belgium World Cup star Philippe Clement placed in charge for the big clash with the Magpies.

But the Belgian side are refusing to pay the rest of the three-year contract Leekens signed earlier this year.

Now Club Brugge are facing a court battle with the 63-year-old, whose side had slumped to five defeats on the spin.

Brugge's Vincent Mannaert played down the dispute, saying: "When you sign an agreement, you always know that it may come to an end abruptly. It's a matter of following all legal stipulations. That's simple."

WARNING Newcastle's former Ajax midfielder Anita
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 7, 2012
Words:610
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