EPL

Howe's high expectations drive Newcastle to club-record unbeaten streak

By Sports Desk January 21, 2023

Eddie Howe says Newcastle United are reaching the "high expectations" they have set for themselves, despite a frustrating 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.

Newcastle had the better of Saturday's encounter at Selhurst Park, registering 16 attempts to Palace's six, and getting seven of those on target.

Ultimately, despite an expected goals (xG) of 1.4 to their hosts' 0.3, Newcastle could not make the breakthrough, though a point did send them into third in the Premier League, above Manchester United.

The draw also marked Newcastle's 15th league game without defeat (W9 D6), a run that stretches back to a 2-1 loss to Liverpool in August. It is the club's longest unbeaten streak in the top flight.

Asked if it was one point dropped rather than two points gained, Howe told BBC Sport: "I haven't had time to think about it. Is it? I don't know the answer to that.

"I'm really pleased with the team. Really tough place to come, we were ourselves and we had the moments and chances to score, we just didn't take them.

"Maybe not absolutely clear-cut, you have to score moments, but a lot of presentable opportunities, really good positions where we didn't quite get our final ball right.

"It's a frustration for the team, I can sense that. We've got high expectations of ourselves. I felt we dominated for long spells, they defended well."

Newcastle have now kept a clean sheet in each of their last six Premier League games, the longest such run for any team under an English manager since Steve McClaren's Middlesbrough kept seven consecutive clean sheets in the 2003-04 campaign.

They did rely on a fine save from Nick Pope to keep out a Jean-Philippe Mateta effort, however.

"I'm not too sure on these records, but it's nice to hear," said Howe. "Pope, I have to say, as much as we were dominant, made an incredible save and he’s been brilliant since he signed. That was a big moment.

"Every team has days like this, especially when the competition is so high. The most important thing is if we don't win, we don't lose."

Pope has kept 12 clean sheets this season, more than he managed in either of his last two campaigns at Burnley. Only in the 2019-20 season did the England international keep more (15).

At the other end of the pitch, Newcastle are looking for forward reinforcements after Chris Wood joined Nottingham Forest.

"We're actively looking, no guarantees, but we are trying," said Howe when asked about new signings.

One reported target is Everton winger Anthony Gordon, who did not feature as Frank Lampard's struggling side lost 2-0 at West Ham.

However, in his post-match press conference Lampard shrugged off the suggestion Gordon did not come off the bench at London Stadium due to that speculation.

Related items

  • I’m no magician – Oliver Glasner warns Crystal Palace not to expect miracles I’m no magician – Oliver Glasner warns Crystal Palace not to expect miracles

    New Crystal Palace boss Oliver Glasner warned he was “no magician” as he prepares for his first game in charge of the relegation-threatened side.

    While there will no doubt be changes coming at Selhurst Park, the Austrian’s message in his first press conference at times echoed his predecessor Roy Hodgson who, in the weeks leading up to his departure last Thursday, liked to remind critics that he did not have a “magic wand.”

    Glasner, who led Eintracht Frankfurt to Europa League glory in 2022, takes over a Palace side five points clear of the relegation zone and 12 ahead of Saturday’s opponents Burnley, still missing a trio of their most influential players, and in recent weeks playing in front of an increasingly disillusioned fanbase.

    The 49-year-old, who took charge of his first training session on Wednesday, referenced the famous American illusionist as he said: “I’m no magician. I’m not David Copperfield.

    “But what I always tell the players is the same for me. You can grow with your challenges, and it’s a challenge for me, it’s a challenge for all of us, but I’ve had a warm welcome from all the players, from the whole organisation, also from the British weather the last few days.

    “It made it really easy to start the players listening. The players have great character. We’ve had more meetings than training sessions on the pitch, but I really think we all did well together.

    “Now it’s up to us to get the confidence back. It was a short week but the players are listening, are willing, are open-minded and this is what I like.

    “I don’t expect that there will be something totally different tomorrow because that is not possible – sorry, no David Copperfield here – but I feel this is a great team with great character fighting for each other, fighting for a win.

    “What I can promise is that it is always our basic (philosophy), the only thing I expect from my players in every game is that we give 100 per cent to win this game.”

    Glasner, who spent almost his entire playing career as a defender for Austrian side SV Ried, had spells leading Ried and LASK before moving to the Bundesliga where he led Wolfsburg to Champions League qualification and then joined Frankfurt.

    He was in talks to take over from Hodgson when the 76-year-old’s contract expired at the end of this season but was instead announced ahead of schedule, replacing a man already under pressure and rumoured to be on his way out before he was hospitalised after falling ill during a training session on Thursday.

    Glasner sees himself as a glass-half-full character when it comes to the relegation battle and, in a meeting with league officials, checked to see where his naturally expressive nature on the touchline could get him into trouble.

    He added: “I was used to sprinting down the sidelines and celebrating with my players. I try to be calm but sometimes I’m not calm.

    “I don’t know what you will see tomorrow but everything you will see, this is Oliver Glasner.

    “I cannot change in two days and I don’t want to change. If I feel the emotion, I want to show it.”

  • Eddie Howe says Newcastle will push for best possible deal for Dan Ashworth Eddie Howe says Newcastle will push for best possible deal for Dan Ashworth

    Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has insisted Manchester United will not get sporting director Dan Ashworth on the cheap.

    Ashworth was placed on garden leave earlier this week after telling the club he wanted to leave St James’ Park after just 20 months to take up a similar role at Old Trafford.

    New Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made Ashworth’s recruitment a priority and has railed against suggestions that his release could cost £20million, describing the prospect of the 52-year-old facing up to 18 months in limbo under the terms of his contract with the Magpies as “completely stupid”.

    Asked how important it was that the hierarchy on Tyneside got the best possible deal, head Howe coach Howe said: “In these situations, it’s about Newcastle, from our perspective.

    “But that is for other people to make those decisions, I’m not involved in that in any way, shape or form. I’m preparing the team to play Arsenal.”

    Ashworth’s impending departure has come as a huge blow to the Magpies’ ownership group, which lured him from Brighton to oversee its plans for a successful long-term future.

    After the renowned administrator informed the club of his wish to leave, Howe, who had formed a close working relationship with the former Football Association technical director, voiced his fears over the intelligence he could take with him.

    Asked if he had spoken to Ashworth this week, he said, “No” before adding, “No, that’s a lie. I have, yes”.

    Although he declined to reveal what was said, Howe insisted they had parted on good terms.

    Newcastle launched the search for a replacement as they confirmed Ashworth’s decision and Howe, who revealed he will have an input but not the final say, is hoping the successful candidate will prove a long-term appointment.

    He said: “Ideally in that role, you are in the position for a long period of time. It’s a bit like being an academy manager, you’re not going to see the end result of your work for many years because you’re putting things in place.

    “That’s the same as a sporting director. It’s a longer term role, ideally.”

    In the meantime, Howe’s attention is firmly on Saturday’s trip to the Emirates Stadium and the prospect of trying to keep the Gunners and in particular in-form England international Bukayo Saka, in check.

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta left St James’ furious after a 1-0 defeat on November 4 with Anthony Gordon’s winning goal surviving three different VAR checks, although his Magpies’ counterpart does not believe there is any bad blood between the clubs.

    Howe said: “Mikel is a very passionate guy, he will defend his team. I am the same, I will defend my team. I like to think there is a lot of mutual respect between us both.”

    Former Gunners midfielder Joe Willock could be included in the squad for the first time since suffering an Achilles injury in November, while striker Alexander Isak has a chance of returning after a three-game absence with a groin problem.

  • Football rumours: Liverpool interested in Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi Football rumours: Liverpool interested in Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi

    What the papers say

    Liverpool have identified Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi as a transfer target this summer, the Telegraph reports. Manchester United are also interested in the 23-year-old.

    In an effort to replace Kylian Mbappe, the i says Paris St Germain are interested in Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Napoli striker Victor Osimhen and Barcelona midfielder Gavi.

    Social media round-upPlayers to watch

    Harry Kane: Football Transfers says Manchester United could once again try and lure the Bayern Munich striker and England captain to the club.

    Gleison Bremer: Manchester United are also interested in the 26-year-old defender, currently at Juventus, who has been valued at £59.8million, Italian outlet Calciomercato says.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.