Newcastle: Eddie Howe responds to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool claim
Liverpool have increased the pressure on the Magpies and Manchester United with a streak of seven straight wins, closing the gap to third and fourth to a single point.
Jurgen Klopp said this week Howe and Erik ten Hag would prefer his Liverpool side not to be breathing down their necks at this point in the season, but the Newcastle head coach insists his side don’t feel like they’re being pursued below and only focused on their own goals – with five points needed from their last three games, the first of which is played at St James’ Park on Thursday night against rivals Brighton.
“I don’t feel like we’re being hunted,” Howe said.
“I don’t feel that feeling. Actually, we’re against ourselves. That’s how I see it. We try to do our best.”
“I haven’t focused on any other team all season. From my experience I knew Liverpool were never far away because they are a top team and they are capable of winning streaks. They’re very similar to Manchester City, who can win a number of games without batting an eyelid. You have that experience. For us, we can’t look at that or compare ourselves to Liverpool. We just have to look at ourselves.”
After a remarkable season, Howe now believes Newcastle face their biggest challenge yet: crossing the finish line.
He said: “Whenever you really want something badly, which I’m sure everyone involved with the club does, the hardest thing is to finally achieve it.”
“I can’t give you more. There is no science behind it. Whenever one desires something in life, and it is a great achievement, it is not easy to achieve it.”
Despite the stakes being huge, Newcastle know a place in next season’s Champions League is in their hands – a position Howe would have liked to have assumed before even a ball was played this season.
“I would break your arm off,” he says.
“We were at the start of the season when you reclaimed yourself, I think I sat in that room and said it was about making sure we weren’t fighting relegation.”
“We made sure we developed and improved the team enough to be stable in the Premier League and then maybe we wanted to grow the team in the following seasons.
“Well, we’ve definitely surpassed that and I think now we’re in a position where we’ve got three games and to be in that position at the start of the season where you’re in control, that means everything. ”
“Obviously at this point it’s difficult to get across the finish line and win the games, but that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Howe admitted last week it would now be disappointing if Newcastle missed out on the top four, but that doesn’t mean the manager or anyone else at the club has lost track of how far they’ve come this season.
He said: “It’s very easy to forget, even for me and certainly for the players too. It is known that players advance very quickly and have a different mindset. For a split second you can say: We did well. We’re on the right track and that’s the most important thing when you’ve suffered a minor setback or disappointment. Recalibrate where you are and focus on the future.
“We did really well this season. If we had a little slip, we always went back and we will now. We’re going to use all the positive energy we’ve created this season and actually there shouldn’t be any pressure on us at all because we came from nothing. We have to try to attack the games that are still ahead of us.
“I don’t think I have to ask the fans to enjoy this. From the experiences I’ve had and the expressions I see on their faces, I think our fans have loved this year. Of course I want them to enjoy the last three games too.”
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/23527902.newcastle-eddie-howe-responds-jurgen-klopp-liverpool-claim/?ref=rss Newcastle: Eddie Howe responds to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool claim