EPL

Howe 'absolutely detests' losing but sees 'danger' in Newcastle's unbeaten run

By Sports Desk February 17, 2023

Eddie Howe has detailed how he "absolutely detests" losing matches – something Newcastle United have not done in the Premier League since August's trip to Liverpool.

But ahead of the reverse fixture at St James' Park on Saturday, Howe's focus is on winning, rather than preserving a record unbeaten run.

Newcastle have suffered only a sole defeat in the league this season – the fewest in the division – and that loss came in particularly painful circumstances as Liverpool's Fabio Carvalho scored a 98th-minute winner at Anfield.

Since then, the Magpies are unbeaten in 17 in the league, a sequence that has tied their best ever streak, set in the Championship in 2010.

Newcastle have also advanced to the EFL Cup final, but they suffered an upset in the FA Cup, losing to Sheffield Wednesday to remind Howe just how much he hates that feeling.

Asked if the previous Liverpool match had aided his team, the Newcastle boss replied: "Possibly it may have helped us in some strange way. You go through that experience and you're desperate not to feel that again.

"Certainly the Sheffield Wednesday game was another example.

"I don't need any reminding of how painful losing is – I did most of that in my playing career, and I hated that feeling. I tried to do everything I could to not feel that going into the next game.

"As a manager, it's probably 10 times worse, maybe 100 times worse. I hated it as a player, and I absolutely detest it as a manager.

"You're preparing and working to try to stay away from that feeling for as long as possible."

The length of that unbeaten run in the Premier League would have kept Howe happy then, but Newcastle have drawn eight of those 17 matches, ending remote hopes of a title challenge and putting them under pressure in the Champions League chase.

While another draw against Liverpool – their sixth in seven and fourth in a row – would see Howe's players make history with the outright record, he only wants victory.

"To go on that kind of unbeaten run in this league is so tough, because it only takes one bad 10 minutes and that record is gone," Howe said, before adding: "I don't want the players to become focused on it, though.

"That can be the danger with unbeaten runs sometimes – it becomes about staying unbeaten, rather than winning the game.

"That's not in my mindset at all. Tomorrow, we go out to try to win, and all our focus has to be on that."

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