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Howe backs Newcastle to reach United level

By AFP
April 01, 2023

NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe insists Newcastle can “buck the trend” as they try to become the equal of Manchester United on and off the pitch.

Howe’s side host United on Sunday just over a month after they met in the League Cup final at Wembley. Newcastle were beaten 2-0 by Erik ten Hag’s team, making it a frustrating first major final appearance for the Magpies in 24 years.

Despite that defeat, Newcastle boss Howe is confident his club are capable of matching the Old Trafford outfit in the long-term after their rapid rise since he took charge in November 2021.

With the help of sizeable investment from their Saudi-backed owners, Newcastle have climbed to fifth in the Premier League. They sit three points behind third placed United and two adrift of fourth placed Tottenham with two games in hand on the north Londoners in the race to qualify for the Champions league via a top four finish.

While Newcastle have already closed the gap on United on the pitch, they have some way to go off it. United’s forecast turnover for 2022-23 is approaching £600 million ($371 million), around three times the figure for Newcastle.

“I think you can buck the trend, of course you can, it’s possible. It’s not easy to do,” Howe told reporters on Friday. “I go back to my early coaching experiences and we were always trying to buck the trend. We were going against teams with far superior budgets to us for years and years.

“When you say how: team spirit, togetherness, implementing a plan, hopefully everyone’s on the same page and working harder than everyone else. That’s the simple blueprint that I’ve always tried to use.