Eddie Howe is hoping there is more to come from Newcastle after seeing them secure a first home win of 2024 and the 100th of his Premier League career.

The Magpies had not tasted victory at St James’ Park since they beat Fulham 3-0 on December 16, but they ended that run by beating injury-hit Wolves by the same scoreline to suggest they could finally be emerging from a difficult run.

Coming four days after they edged past Sky Best Championship Blackburn into the FA Cup quarter-finals, the win left head coach Howe in positive mood.

 

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He said: “Sometimes you just have to find a way to get over the finishing line and you know then that there are better performances ahead. I think we were in that moment today.

 

“I don’t think today was ever going to be a classic Newcastle performance, but I think it’s a building bridge closer to where we want to be.

“I thought Blackburn was very similar. We got through, that was the main thing. Today was slightly better again and I’d like to think now with the strength of the group returned that we will hopefully see continued improvement in performances.”

Newcastle were happy to sit back and try to hit the visitors on the break during the first half, and the ploy paid handsome dividends when Alexander Isak headed home after Bruno Guimaraes’ shot had been half blocked and then Anthony Gordon slotted into an empty net after goalkeeper Jose Sa had collided with team-mate Max Kilman.

Asked if the ploy had worked as he had hoped, Howe, who lost Kieran Trippier to a calf problem, added: “It was a slight tweak from our normal way of playing. We analyse our opposition, like we do always.

“There are always tweaks and little things we try to do to help us in our performance, and that was one today, to try to maybe play a slightly more transitional game.”

Wolves, who were without injured duo Hwang Hee-chan – he is expected to be sidelined for around six weeks by a hamstring injury – and Matheus Cunha and lost both Sa and Pedro Neto at half-time, gave as good as they got for long periods, but found Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka in resilient form again.

Their day was done when substitute Tino Livramento capped a good afternoon for the hosts in stoppage time with a fine solo run and finish to wrap up the win.

Head coach Gary O’Neill, however, was not convinced about the merits of Howe’s game plan.

He said: “There’s no way that Newcastle let us have a lot of the ball. We had a lot of the ball because we were really good with the ball.

“I know Eddie Howe, I know Newcastle. They press everybody, especially at home. The reason we had the ball was our quality and how good we were with it.”

O’Neil added: “I thought structurally we were the better side, had real control of the game, control of the ball, so I’m really proud of the group for what they gave today.”

Eddie Howe managed to get a tune out of his team with rock star Mark Knopfler watching as clinical Newcastle ended Wolves’ three-game winning run.

Knopfler was at St James’ Park to unveil a charity recording of the theme from Local Hero, the song to which the Magpies run out, and witnessed a 3-0 home victory – a first in the Premier League since December 16 – courtesy of Alexander Isak’s 15th goal of the season, Anthony Gordon’s 10th and substitute Tino Livramento’s first for the club.

Head coach Howe, who had spoken of his own musical ability – or more accurately, lack of it – in the run-up to the game, came up with the perfect game-plan, sucking Wolves in by allowing them possession and then hitting them on the break in devastating fashion.

The visitors rallied late in the game, but were unable to find a way past keeper Martin Dubravka in front of a crowd of 52,206 at a wintry St James’.

Pedro Neto made an early impression as the visitors attempted to capitalise on the Magpies’ recent defensive issues, and it took a well-time challenge by Fabian Schar to halt his enterprising third-minute run into the penalty area.

As torrential rain fell from slate grey skies over Tyneside, Newcastle gradually eased into their stride, and it was they who took the lead with 14 minutes gone after Schar had picked off Rayan Ait-Nouri’s pass into the box and fed Gordon.

The frontman sprinted away down the left before finding Bruno Guimaraes, whose shot deflected off defender Craig Dawson and looped up for Isak to head home at the far post.

Dan Burn might have made it 2-0 within five minutes after linking with Gordon, but he dragged his attempt harmlessly across the face of goal.

Toti headed over after Dawson had helped Pablo Sarabia’s corner back into the danger area and with Neto menacing, the visitors were very much in the game despite repeatedly finding themselves under the cosh.

However, they fell further behind 12 minutes before the break when Schar played the ball into the feet of Joe Willock, who fed Jacob Murphy to send in a low cross which keeper Jose Sa could only palm away from Isak as he collided with team-mate Max Kilman, and Gordon supplied the finishing touch.

Wolves continued to enjoy a healthy share of the possession, but were unable to do enough with it to force their way back into the game before the break.

O’Neil replaced Sa and Neto with Daniel Bentley and Nathan Fraser before the restart and Howe saw Kieran Trippier limp off within seven minutes as Livramento stepped into the breach.

It took a superb goal-line clearance by Toti to keep out Willock’s 56th-minute diving header from Burn’s cross, but Martin Dubravka was relieved to see Jeanricner Bellegarde’s attempt loop over his bar.

Dubravka found himself at the centre of the action as he dived full-length to keep out Fraser’s skidding drive and then blocked Sarabia’s shot at the far post before plucking Bellegarde’s header out of the air.

Bentley saved at substitute Miguel Almiron’s feet after Guimaraes had turned superbly and clipped the ball into his path, but it was Livramento who sealed the win in stoppage time with a fine solo run and stabbed finish from Schar’s cultured pass.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe hailed a “big moment” in his side’s season after they scraped past Championship Blackburn on penalties in the FA Cup on Tuesday.

Martin Dubravka saved two spot-kicks as the Magpies prevailed 4-3 in the shoot-out after the game had ended 1-1 after extra time.

With the club having slipped to 10th in the Premier League in what has been a largely underwhelming campaign after last year’s top-four finish, the cup now represents the best chance to maintain their upward trajectory.

Howe said: “Obviously a lot was riding on the outcome so I thought the players handled the moment brilliantly, the goalkeeper and outfield players who took the penalties.

“It was big moment in our season at such a crucial stage.

“The players are desperate to achieve. No-one is underestimating the importance of the FA Cup.”

Howe also praised the heroics of Dubravka after the Slovakia keeper had been ill in the build-up to the game.

He said: “The two penalty saves were huge for us but in open play I thought he really performed well and we needed him to because they had a few big moments.

“He’s been playing feeling slightly ill and he deserves huge credit for doing that. He was nowhere near fit for the weekend against Arsenal and hasn’t been 100 per cent for quite a long period of time.”

Dubravka kept Blackburn at bay with a number of saves before Newcastle broke the deadlock in the 71st minute through Anthony Gordon.

Blackburn responded well and levelled through the impressive Sammie Szmodics and both sides had chances to win it, in normal time and extra time, but it came down to penalties and Dubravka kept out efforts from Szmodics and Dominic Hyam.

Howe said: “I thought we got better as it went on. I don’t think the first half was particularly good, I thought the second half was better and extra time was our best spell of the game by a long way.

“Really we shouldn’t have allowed it to go to penalties with the chances we missed in extra time.”

Blackburn manager John Eustace was pleased with the effort of his side, who played at a level above that of a team 16th in the Championship.

Eustace, who is still awaiting his first win after taking charge earlier this month, said: “When it goes down to penalties it’s a bit of a lottery but I’m very, very proud of the squad that we used and also very proud of the supporters.

“I couldn’t ask for any more effort and desire and togetherness. You can see that everyone’s really fighting and looking after each other and you can see the style of play improving game by game.

“We’re making small steps forward. We’re playing against a top Premier League team, top players, and you could see that we could hurt them in certain areas. On another day we could have had a couple more goals.”

Erling Haaland plundered five goals as holders Manchester City powered into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 6-2 victory at Luton.

The Norwegian notched a first-half hat-trick at Kenilworth Road to put City 3-0 up, with Kevin De Bruyne providing the assist for each of the goals.

After Luton replied with efforts from Jordan Clark just prior to and just after the interval, Haaland notched his fourth – De Bruyne again registering an assist – and then a fifth, before Mateo Kovacic completed the rout.

Championship leaders Leicester pulled off a 1-0 win at Bournemouth thanks to an extra-time effort from substitute Abdul Fatawu.

Fatawu sent a fine shot past Cherries goalkeeper Mark Travers in the final minute of the first half of the additional period.

Newcastle are also through after getting past Blackburn 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes at Ewood Park.

The contest went to spot-kicks after Sammie Szmodics’ 79th-minute equaliser for the Championship hosts cancelled out Anthony Gordon’s effort eight minutes earlier.

In the shootout Martin Dubravka made saves to deny Szmodics and Dominic Hyam as the Magpies prevailed.

Substitute Matt Ritchie came to Newcastle’s rescue as they fought back twice to snatch a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth in an incident-packed Premier League game at St James’ Park.

Ritchie had only been on the pitch for seconds when he scored in stoppage time, cancelling out Antoine Semenyo’s stunning strike just as it looked like the visitors would emerge with all three points.

Dominic Solanke’s 16th goal – and third against Eddie Howe’s men – of the season had given the Cherries the lead, but Anthony Gordon levelled with a contentiously-awarded penalty in front of a crowd of 52,224 which included sporting director Dan Ashworth, whose pursuit by Manchester United had thrust him into the headlines this week.

Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto enjoyed a stroke of good fortune when Gordon charged down his attempted clearance and saw the ball ricochet across his goal and wide of the far post, and his side might have gone ahead twice within seconds in the 16th minute.

First Martin Dubravka saved from from Marcus Tavernier’s long-range effort and then denied Solanke after Justin Kluivert, playing against one of his father Patrick’s former clubs, had carved his way into the Magpies penalty area.

The Slovakia international spared Newcastle once again with an instinctive 24th-minute block from Solanke after he had met Tavernier’s cross.

Miguel Almiron whistled a curling left-foot shot just wide after exchanging passes with Sean Longstaff and Fabian Schar warmed Neto’s hands from distance five minutes before the break, but there was to be no breakthrough before the half-time whistle.

In a scrappy start to the second half, Almiron drilled a 49th-minute attempt just over the bar after running on to Longstaff’s pass and side-stepping defender Illya Zabarnyi, but it was the visitors who took a 51st-minute lead thanks to a gift from Dubravka.

The keeper slipped after controlling Sven Botman’s back-pass and in the process served up a tap-in for Solanke.

Bournemouth’s lead lasted just seven minutes as the Magpies got themselves back on terms in controversial fashion.

Referee Michael Salisbury, who until that point had done little to endear himself to the home fans, was advised to review Adam Smith’s challenge on Schar inside the area and after a lengthy spell at the pitchside monitor pointed to the spot, much to Cherries boss Andoni Iraola’s disbelief.

In the absence of the injured Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson, Gordon took charge and dispatched his spot-kick firmly past Neto to level.

Kluivert fired wastefully over after Solanke had made a nuisance of himself and Marcos Senesi sent the ball inches wide of his own goal as he attempted to cut out Bruno Guimaraes’ cross with both sides going for victory.

The visitors regained the advantage with 21 minutes remaining when Semenyo picked up possession in space down the right and drew full-back Dan Burn before thumping a low shot past the helpless Dubravka.

Dubravka had to be at his best to claw away Lewis Cook’s deflected shot, setting the stage for Ritchie to level in the second of 10 minutes of added time, stabbing home from close range against his former club after his header from Guimaraes’ cross had been blocked by Cook.

Eddie Howe is confident Newcastle will protect themselves to prevent sporting director Dan Ashworth from taking inside knowledge with him to Manchester United.

The PA news agency understands United want the former Football Association technical director to oversee a new era at Old Trafford in the wake of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival as co-owner.

Ashworth was recruited by Newcastle’s new owners from Brighton to perform a similar role 20 months ago, and his loss would represent a significant blow to their project on Tyneside and to their hopes of competing with a direct rival for the trophies and Champions League football they crave.

Asked if the detailed intelligence the 52-year-old possesses about his current employers and their blueprint was a concern, head coach Howe replied: “I think your concerns are relevant. I don’t know quite how much I can say on that, but I share your feelings.”

He added: “It goes without saying that we’re very protective of what’s ours, whether that’s players or staff. If people do eventually move on to other clubs, there’s a process to go through before that is reality.”

Howe insisted there had, as of Friday morning, been no formal contact between the clubs, but was candid when asked if Ashworth had told him he wanted to remain at St James’ Park amid the whirl of speculation in recent days.

He said simply: “No.”

United’s interest in Ashworth, who is credited with establishing England’s DNA during his time with the FA, is long-standing and the Magpies have been aware of the situation for some time.

They themselves prised him free from Brighton – he resigned from his role at the AMEX Stadium in February 2022, but did not take up his new post until June of the same year after lengthy negotiations which eventually resulted in a sizeable compensation payment.

United would have to enter into a similar arrangement to secure his services sooner than the terms of his contract at Newcastle stipulate, but there is an acceptance on Tyneside that matters are coming to a head and the sooner the situation is resolved, the better.

Howe said: “At some stage there has to be a line drawn and things have to move forward.

“The club will always move forward. We’ve got some very good people in all departments doing some outstanding work that people don’t see.

“The club is hugely ambitious and that has never changed. I’ve got no doubt the club will be successful in the future.”

Howe’s comments came as he prepared his team for Saturday’s Premier League clash with former club Bournemouth at St James’, a game England striker Callum Wilson will miss with a pectoral muscle injury for which he was due to undergo surgery on Friday and which is likely to sideline him for the bulk of what is left of the season, putting his Euro 2024 hopes in doubt.

Howe said: “We hoped initially he could carry on – and he felt good, actually, Callum, felt functionally fine. He was moving his arm and had full strength.

“But when he went to see a specialist, I think it was apparent quite early that he needed it operating on and I think he’s having that operation as we speak.”

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe wants Dan Ashworth’s future to be resolved quickly amid Manchester United’s pursuit of the club’s sporting director.

The PA news agency understands the Red Devils want the 52-year-old to head up an overhaul at Old Trafford and while Magpies head coach Howe says there has been no formal contact, he admits there is no smoke without fire.

Asked if he wanted a quick resolution, he said: “Yes, but it’s not about what I want, is it?

“I don’t know, it’s not my decision. I’m not in control of it.”

Howe revealed he had spoken to Ashworth amid a frenzy of speculation this week, and asked if the former Football Association technical director had indicated he wanted to remain on Tyneside, he admitted: “No.”

Asked what was happening with Ashworth, he added: “Nothing, as far as I’m aware. Obviously it’s been in the news a lot and usually with these things, that means something’s going to happen.

“But as we speak now, we’ve had no contact from anyone.”

Ashworth, who joined Newcastle from Brighton 20 months ago after serving a period of gardening leave, is likely to find himself in a similar position as the two clubs prepare to enter negotiations.

Howe is convinced the project he was brought in to oversee at St James’ Park will remain on track whatever happens.

He said: “Football always moves on very quickly, and I’d say that regarding the manager’s position. Newcastle is a huge football club, it will continue to work in a very efficient way regardless of who is here.

“We’ve got some very, very capable people here in all departments, so we would carry on very smoothly.”

Meanwhile, Howe confirmed that striker Callum Wilson was due to undergo surgery to repair a pectoral muscle injury on Friday and is likely to miss much of the remainder of the season.

Relieved Newcastle boss Eddie Howe was delighted to see Harvey Barnes return to action with a bang as he came off the bench to snatch a thrilling 4-4 draw with Luton for the Magpies.

Barnes, who had been out of action since September 24 with a toe injury, was introduced as a 63rd-minute substitute with his side trailing 4-2 to the promoted Hatters having led 1-0 and 2-1, and it was his strike 10 minutes later which ensured the spoils were shared.

Asked about his £38million summer signing, head coach Howe said: “That’s what Harvey does, that’s why we brought him to the football club.

“He is a goalscorer. His record last year at Leicester was incredible and we hoped, of course, that he would come here and bring goals to us.

“Unfortunately, he’s missed such a big part of the season and it’s huge to get him back I thought it was an incredible finish off his wrong foot, a really, really good goal and I think he had another chance late on as well, so I was really pleased with his impact.”

In a chaotic encounter, Sean Longstaff twice fired the Magpies ahead only for Gabriel Osho and then Ross Barkley, who turned in a fine individual display, to level before the break.

Carlton Morris’ twice-taken penalty saw the visitors go ahead for the first time and when Elijah Adebayo made it 4-2 in the 62nd minute, they looked to be on the way to another impressive win after their 4-0 midweek success over Brighton.

 

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However, Kieran Trippier’s volley dragged Newcastle back to within a single goal before Barnes struck to set up a grandstand finish during which Jacob Murphy and Chiedozie Ogbene might have won it for their respective sides.

 

Howe, who lost Anthony Gordon to an ankle injury, said: “With the way we started, I thought this could be a really memorable game for us. But credit to Luton, they responded really well and made it difficult for us.

“It was a really open game, with two teams going right at each other. It was probably a great game for the neutral, but not so much if you’re associated to us because there was a huge determination to win, and we’re disappointed not to.”

Opposite number Rob Edwards shared similarly conflicting feelings on a day when his side once again proved its top-flight credentials.

Edwards said: “We wanted to be brave, which we were, [showed] loads of character, resilience and quality to get back into the game after going behind twice, and after going two goals up, tinged with a little bit of disappointment that we weren’t able to see it out.

“But I’ve got to respect the opposition and the level of the team, the quality of the players that we were coming up against, once they’d got that third goal back, there as still a lot of time on the clock wasn’t there and the almost inevitable happened and they got the equaliser.

“What I was pleased with was our character, our resilience and then actually some quality to keep it at 4-4 and keep pushing.

“I felt sick at times, I felt elation at times. I felt really proud watching my team play and overall, I think a point was a fair result.”

Premier League clubs have largely kept their powder dry in this transfer window but could there be a flurry of activity on deadline day?

Here the PA news agency takes a look at what could go through before the top-flight window in England closes at 11pm on February 1.

Could Rashford make a shock move?

England forward Marcus Rashford is under the microscope again following his alleged hijinks in Belfast last week, which led to internal disciplinary measures being taken by Manchester United.

While United say they have drawn a line under the matter, Rashford is not as settled under Erik ten Hag as he might once have been.

Any departure from Old Trafford in the next day or so would still be regarded as a major surprise but Paris St Germain are reportedly keeping tabs on United’s homegrown 26-year-old.

Chelsea offloading before buying?

Conor Gallagher has been an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season but with just 18 months left on his contract and no sign of an extension, the England midfielder has been linked with a switch to Tottenham.

Fulham and Wolves are said to be tracking another of Chelsea’s academy products in Armando Broja.

But lightening the books could allow the Blues to follow up reported interest in Aston Villa’s Jhon Duran and Newcastle forward Callum Wilson as well as Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies.

Newcastle keeping busy

Newcastle were expected to be one of the biggest movers but they are having to juggle the restrictions imposed by profit and sustainability and financial fair play rules with a desire to strengthen.

Indeed, boss Eddie Howe said this week it was “impossible” to add to their squad without selling first.

Kieran Trippier, Miguel Almiron and Bruno Guimaraes have all been linked with moves abroad but Newcastle have managed to resist any overtures thus far and will hope there are no major departures on Thursday.

Blades want cutting edge defender

Rock-bottom Sheffield United have brought in Chile striker Ben Brereton Diaz and former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Ivo Grbic this month but manager Chris Wilder wants someone experienced to bolster his backline.

The Blades have shipped 54 goals in 22 matches – by far the worst record in the league – and Wilder says the club is working “frantically” to get something over the line before the window shuts.

Hammers go for Jota

With Said Benrahma reportedly close to sealing a move to Ligue 1 club Lyon, West Ham could target former Celtic winger Jota to shore up the wing.

The Portuguese only swapped the Hoops for the Saudi Pro League last summer but has been heavily linked with a return to the UK.

However, David Moyes’ side could meet resistance from Al-Ittihad given Jota has been in Saudi Arabia for just six months.

Boss Eddie Howe believes Newcastle proved the doubters wrong after inflicting Aston Villa’s first home league defeat in almost a year.

Fabian Schar’s first-half double and Alex Moreno’s own goal gave the Magpies a deserved 3-1 win in Birmingham.

Ollie Watkins’ 50th Premier League goal for Villa gave the hosts hope but they were unable to mount a comeback.

It was Villa’s first home top-flight defeat since February last year and came after Newcastle had lost six of their last seven league games.

“We answered a lot of questions but it’s just one game and we need to build on the last two results,” said Howe, with Newcastle climbing to seventh.

“It was a big win and performance, the players were really good. It was us of last year.

“We had that good start, it gave us confidence and it was a very good away performance. Now the challenge is to maintain that.

“It’s been frustrating as we’ve done well in the cup competitions away from home but the Premier League seems to have been a different story.

“It was mixed emotions for me because that team is an elite team. The mixed part is that we haven’t seen that for a number of weeks. We looked much like ourselves and we have players coming back.”

Anthony Gordon was denied by Emi Martinez before Schar struck twice in four first-half minutes.

The defender capitalised on poor defending from Douglas Luiz and Ezri Konsa from Kieran Trippier’s corner to open the scoring after 32 minutes.

Soon after Gordon’s shot was deflected over and, when the corner was only half-cleared, the winger’s volley clipped Clement Lenglet, hit the underside of the bar and Schar prodded in.

Newcastle’s dominance continued six minutes after the break when Miguel Almiron – on for Alexander Isak, who came off with a suspected groin injury – robbed Matty Cash and was slipped in by Gordon’s return ball.

His cross reached Jacob Murphy and the winger’s effort went in off the sliding Moreno.

Villa found some fight and after Moussa Diaby had gone close Watkins pulled a goal back with 19 minutes left, firing in Leon Bailey’s cross.

The striker also had a goal disallowed for a tight offside call two minutes later but the hosts could not recover.

Villa remain fourth but will be overhauled by Tottenham if Spurs beat Brentford on Wednesday.

“I spoke with the players and told them I am very proud of them and the supporters after a lot of successful matches here. One loss was always going to come,” said boss Unai Emery, with Villa due to confirm the signing of Morgan Rogers from Middlesbrough in a deal worth £16million.

“We can’t lose our perspective. Winning is better but we are facing seven teams stronger than us, but we have our process. The message is to keep going ahead and try and find comfort in the work that we are doing.

“We are frustrated, a little bit disappointed, but in our perspective we are happy. We weren’t clinical and we conceded more chances and set-pieces than normal.

“We have 43 points. We are going to work and try to keep the distance that we have now and then focus on Saturday (at Sheffield United).”

Eddie Howe praised the resilience of his Newcastle side after their 2-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage saw them progress to the FA Cup fifth round for just the second time in 18 years.

Only once since 2006 have the Magpies reached the competition’s last-16, when the side managed by Steve Bruce fell at the quarter-final stage against Manchester City.

Howe emphasised the importance of the club’s last shot at winning a trophy this campaign after they despatched Marco Silva’s team in west London.

“It was a big result for us,” he said. “We knew we wanted to progress. It’s our last chance at silverware this season so I think the expectation from us internally was that we had to give it everything to try and get through.

“I didn’t think it was the most fluent performance we’ve ever delivered but we got the major things right which were resilience, really good character and attitude. We improved in the game, we got better in the second half.

“It’s a competition that we want to do well in. Hopefully there’s more to come.”

Newcastle took the lead six minutes before half-time and Fulham had themselves to blame.

A free-kick hoisted over from the right was dealt with indecisively by the home side’s defence, as two players got in each other’s way in a doomed attempt to clear. From there, the ball dropped to Sean Longstaff, who with a confident swing of his left foot fired Howe’s side in front.

VAR was called upon to adjudicate on a possible handball against Bruno Guimaraes as the ball pinged loosed inside the box, but the goal was deemed legitimate and Newcastle led.

Earlier, Rodrigo Muniz had had Fulham’s best chance of the half, striking low towards Martin Dubravka’s bottom corner and drawing a superb stop from the goalkeeper, who clawed it away at full stretch.

Newcastle doubled their lead on the hour mark, Sven Botman rising to thump a powerful header at goal from Kieran Trippier’s corner. Marek Rodak beat it away with two firm hands but could not get it clear of danger and Dan Burn tapped home.

The result brought welcome respite to what has been a torrid patch of away form for Newcastle, after five consecutive league defeats on the road.

“It’s strange because you look at us in the cups and we’ve been OK (away),” said Howe. “We just haven’t carried it across to the Premier League form, which has been a huge frustration. But I don’t see any reason why we can’t start winning away from home.

“We prided ourselves last year on being hard to score against. We’ve got the players to score at the other end. It’s been missing this year, but hopefully that will return quickly.”

Fulham boss Silva reflected on a a second cup exit in a week following Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final loss to Liverpool.

“That is football sometimes,” he said. “You play well but the key moments were not clear for us and that is our fault. The chances that we did create, with the amount that we created, we should have been more ruthless.

“We arrived so many times in dangerous areas that we have to better decide the last action, the pass or the finish. We have to be stronger in those situations, on the set pieces and with our finishing.”

Newcastle midfielder Joelinton will miss most of the rest of the season after undergoing thigh surgery, the club have confirmed.

The Brazilian was forced off during the Magpies’ FA Cup victory over rivals Sunderland on January 6.

Manager Eddie Howe had previously suggested the 27-year-old could be out for around six weeks but the decision to operate now means the player will be sidelined until at least May.

A statement from the club read: “Newcastle United can confirm that Joelinton has successfully undergone surgery on a thigh injury sustained earlier this month.

“The midfielder will now commence a period of rehabilitation overseen by the club’s medical team and is expected to return to action in May 2024.”

The news is a further blow for Howe, who currently has a lengthy injury list to contend with.

Jacob Murphy, Callum Wilson, Harvey Barnes, Joe Willock, Matt Targett and Nick Pope are among the players currently out of action.

Newcastle have turned down a 15million euros bid from Bayern Munich for full-back Kieran Trippier.

The England international was the subject of a rejected loan offer from the Bundesliga giants at the weekend, but have returned with a cash bid which amounts to around £13million for the 33-year-old.

However, the PA news agency understands the Magpies have no intention of selling Trippier, who joined the club in a £12million switch from Atletico Madrid in January 2022, during the current transfer window.

They have also rebuffed an approach from Atletico for striker Callum Wilson on loan and signalled that they want to keep him at St James’ Park for at least the remainder of the season as well.

Al-Shabab – not one of the four clubs in which Saudia Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which holds an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle, has a controlling interest – are also chasing Paraguay frontman Miguel Almiron, but are yet to reach a point where his current employers would even have cause to think about a deal.

The knowledge that the Tyneside club is close to its spending limit after a £400million-plus, two-year recruitment drive appears to have prompted suitors to test the water this month.

While chief executive Darren Eales has admitted that player trading is something the club will have to do in the longer term, there is no great willingness to start now with injuries continuing to deplete head coach Eddie Howe’s squad, and none of the players in question are agitating for a move.

Bayern, who have other targets, now face a decision over whether or not to consider their pursuit of Trippier before the February 1 deadline, knowing that they may have to go significantly higher than their valuation if they are to spark a rethink.

Eddie Howe has admitted Newcastle have few friends as they attempt to bolster their squad in January against the background of stringent spending limits in the wake of their £400million spree.

The Magpies’ latest financial figures for the year ended June 30, 2023 were published on Thursday and revealed a loss after tax of £73.4million, prompting chief executive Darren Eales to reveal they may have to sell before they can further strengthen their squad.

Howe has been linked with a January move for Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke, but the 46-year-old insisted such a deal was currently beyond his pocket.

He said: “(It’s) a frustrating story for me because yes, I love Dominic Solanke – I signed him and I rate him very, very highly.

“But we have not made an enquiry for him and we don’t have the ability to sign a player of that level.”

Howe’s squad has been decimated by injuries and Sandro Tonali’s 10-month suspension, and Newcastle will go into Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City with 10 players unavailable and latest addition Joelinton facing a minimum of six weeks on the sidelines.

The Brazilian’s misfortune – he has a thigh tendon issue – exacerbates the club’s problems in midfield, which had already prompted an interest in a temporary, but so far unrequited, move for City’s Kalvin Phillips, although even that is proving problematic.

Howe said: “I’m not sure there’s many clubs out there that are willing to help us currently.

“To agree a loan deal, you need the club to agree to that deal, so we’re in that moment where I’m not sure we have many friends in the market.”

Asked if loan signings were a possibility, he added: “We’re not shutting the door on everything, but certainly as I sit here now, no, we’re not going to bring anyone in. But that may change as the window unfolds.”

Newcastle’s predicament may attract little sympathy with their Saudi-backed owners having invested heavily to recruit the likes of Kieran Trippier, Sven Botman, Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak since completing their takeover in October 2021, and Eales’ admission that players may have to be sold contradicts the narrative which has surrounded the club since.

Howe, who insisted the Magpies do not want to sell their better players, said: “There was this perception when the owners took over that we were the richest club in the world. The reality is that’s not really important when talking about FFP.

“That’s irrelevant. We are where we are based on income and we have to improve those revenue streams.

“Selling players is part of every football club’s DNA now. It has to be with Financial Fair Play rules because we have to generate more income and to sign players, we may have to sell players.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean star players – whatever you mean by that term – but certainly selling players will be something this club will do now for the foreseeable future.”

Meanwhile, Howe expressed sympathy for the club’s travelling fans after their FA Cup fourth-round trip to Fulham was scheduled for 7pm on Saturday, January 27, when the last train back to the city leaves at around 9pm.

He said: “I do have sympathy for them. We’re all at the mercy of the TV companies and when they want to schedule games, and I don’t think enough consideration is given to the supporters and what they have to do to get to and from the games.”

Sean Longstaff has challenged Newcastle to mount a charge for FA Cup glory after launching their campaign with a morale-boosting derby victory over Sunderland.

The Magpies went into Saturday’s clash with their arch-rivals having lost seven of their previous eight games in all competitions and knowing the potential for a third-round exit at the hands of lower league opposition for a third successive season was a very real possibility if they were not at their best.

In the event, Eddie Howe’s men eased past the Black Cats with the minimum of fuss, securing a 3-0 victory which rekindled memories among the 6,000 travelling fans at the Stadium of Light of last season’s Carabao Cup final trip to Wembley and increased hope of an end to a 69-year wait for a major domestic trophy.

Asked afterwards about the prospect of an extended run in the competition, midfielder Longstaff told NUFC TV: “We knew going out of the Carabao Cup was really disappointing and if we want to make it a memorable season, it’s a chance to win a trophy and we’ve got to believe that we can do that. I think we’ve got the squad to do it.

“It’s about getting through the first game, so now we’re through and no matter who we get, whether we’re at home or away, we’re going to give it all we’ve got.

“If we can get another trip to Wembley and hopefully put a positive end on it, it would be amazing, but there’s a long way to go before that, so we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.”

Howe and his players arrived on Wearside knowing their season had reached something of a watershed following last month’s Champions League and Carabao Cup exits and a poor run of form in the Premier League.

They did so without a win over Sunderland, now playing their football in the Sky Bet Championship after a four-season exile in League One, in nine attempts – a run which included six successive defeats – dating back to 2011.

But if there was any anxiety on and off the pitch before kick-off, it was soon dispelled as, aided by an error-strewn display from the hosts, they surged to victory without ever having to find top gear.

They went ahead 10 minutes before the break when defender Dan Ballard, who had moments earlier been fortunate to escape unpunished after hauling down Alexander Isak as he surged into the penalty area, turned Joelinton’s cross into his own net with the Sweden international lurking behind him ready to apply the finishing touch.

Newcastle were effectively home and dry within seconds of the restart when Miguel Almiron mugged Pierre Ekwah on the edge of his own box and squared for Isak to extend the lead, and the £63million striker completed the job with a 90th-minute penalty after a frustrated Ballard had barged Anthony Gordon to the ground.

 

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Sunderland had flickered briefly in the meantime with Alex Pritchard clipping the top of the crossbar and then forcing a good save from Martin Dubravka, but it was all too little, too late.

 

Isak, who swiftly turned his attention to Saturday’s league clash with Manchester City, said: “We just have to get back to our form and start winning games. That’s the main target.

“Hopefully this can be like a turn-around for us because we’ve had bad results before, so we can use this energy to turn things around, and it’s a good way to start against City.”

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