Howe says Newcastle on right track despite stumbles

AFP , Friday 22 Dec 2023

Eddie Howe has urged patience after recent stumbles for his Newcastle team, who are now fighting on just two fronts after being eliminated from the Champions League and the League Cup.

Newcastle United s English head coach Eddie Howe looks on ahead of kick-off in the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Fulham at St James Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on December 16, 2023. AFP


The Magpies, who visit struggling Luton on Saturday, are sixth in the Premier League, five points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, and travel to Sunderland for an FA Cup third-round tie next month.

But Howe said he did not feel under pressure.

"My discussions with everyone connected with the football club here and the running of the football club, there's never been that pressure of this season or next season in terms of positions in the league and expectations to win competitions," he said on Friday.

"That's all come from us internally.

"Of course there's an ambition, but there's a difference, I think, between an ambition and a target that's on your back."

The Newcastle boss admitted "everyone" wanted to see concrete progress, two years after the club were bought by a Saudi-led consortium.

Howe steered Newcastle to Premier League safety in his first campaign and last season the Magpies finished in the top four, which meant entry into the Champions League.

"Everyone here wants to see growth," he said. "They want to see growth in the team, they want to see improvement and of course then longer term, those thoughts, I'm sure, will change to tangible targets and to set things that we have to do.

"But at this moment in time, we started from such a low base that we're just trying to build and we've built really quickly.

"For my mind, we want to increase that speed, everything has to come tomorrow, but there needs to be a realisation of where we're at also."

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