We're Chasing Top Six - 24/12/2005
I wish Liverpool success - in Europe rather than at home
Newcastle United defender Robbie Elliott is hoping his side can use the festive period as a catalyst to boost their hopes of breaking into the Premiership's top six - starting at Liverpool.
The trip to Merseyside kicks off the festive campaign, before a home clash with Charlton two days later.
United then move on to Spurs on New Year's Eve before a derby encounter with Middlesbrough to start 2006 on January 2.
The doom and gloom of three consecutive defeats in November has been replaced with optimism after a draw with Aston Villa and impressive wins against Arsenal and at West Ham.
Elliott wants United to capitalise on the faltering form of those above them with sixth-placed Wigan now just three points clear of the Magpies.
He said: "We are doing OK again and, after picking up two wins in a row, we are feeling confident once more.
"If we can pick up points over the holidays, it would be great because we need to keep things going.
"The league table is looking a lot healthier and we are on the tails of a few in the top six."
Elliott, however, is expecting no easy ride against a team that have failed to concede a Premiership goal since October.
Liverpool did slip up in the FIFA World Club Championship in a narrow 1-0 defeat against South Americans Sao Paulo, but Elliott isn't reading too much into their defeat in Tokyo.
He added: "Liverpool are on an unbelievable run themselves but the travelling they have been doing may work against them."
Liverpool have been victims of their own success this season after having to pre-qualify for the Champions League despite beating AC Milan in the final in May.
Rafa Benitez's side had played five qualifiers before the Premiership's big kick-off and also played in the European Supercup final in Monaco back in August.
Add to that their Champions League group matches on top of a long jaunt to the Far East in the FIFA World Club Championships, Liverpool's schedule is far from envious for their Premiership counterparts.
Elliott is hoping to catch the Reds at the right time. He said: "We've travelled together in Europe as a squad and we know it takes it out of you. Maybe we can catch them at the right time.
"I had my fingers crossed they would beat Sao Paulo but it wasn't to be.
"You always want English teams to do well abroad."
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