Newcastle are preparing themselves for a series of big decisions over the final 10 days of the January transfer window as suitors attempt to take advantage of their spending restrictions.

The PA news agency understands the Magpies have rejected a loan offer from Bayern Munich for key defender Kieran Trippier and have received and rebuffed a similar approach from Atletico Madrid for striker Callum Wilson.

However, they are bracing themselves for follow-ups which could present the kind of dilemmas chief executive Darren Eales suggested might arise in the wake of the £400million-plus spending spree on which the club have embarked since their Saudi-backed owners took charge in October 2021 as a result of profit and sustainability rules.

Eales’ comments came earlier this month as Newcastle reported a loss after tax of £73.4m in their latest financial figures, after which he admitted that every player in Eddie Howe’s squad had their price as the club attempt to balance their books.

If that sparked fears that one of their most saleable assets – defender Sven Botman, midfielder Bruno Guimaraes or striker Alexander Isak – could be vulnerable, it appears to have prompted potential European buyers to test the water elsewhere.

Newcastle have not commented on the situation.

England full-back Trippier, 33, was the new regime’s first signing in January 2022 when he arrived at St James’ Park from Atletico in what has proved to be a bargain £12m move.

He has been the flagbearer for the progress which has been made since and has 18 months left on his existing contract.

While there is no particular desire to sell him, he is one of the club’s higher earners and a substantial cash offer would leave Newcastle with a decision to make, although that could be eased in part by Tino Livramento’s summer capture.

Similarly 31-year-old Wilson, who has nine England caps, has 18 months to run on his current deal as he works his way back from a calf injury.

Fitness problems have limited the frontman, who joined the club in a £20m move from Bournemouth in September 2020, in recent months, but he currently represents the only back-up to the in-form Isak in attack and the Magpies would need to have a replacement lined up before they could even consider allowing him to leave.

Newcastle are bracing themselves for the prospect of losing key midfielder Joelinton for the remainder of the season if he needs surgery.

The 27-year-old Brazil international damaged a tendon in his thigh during the 3-0 FA Cup third-round victory at Sunderland on January 6 and medics have since been working to assess the extent of the problem.

However, the PA news agency understands he may need an operation and if that proves to be the case, he would be out of action for months rather than the “minimum of six weeks” for which head coach Eddie Howe revealed he could be sidelined on Friday.

 

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Howe said: “Joey’s injury is another freak injury one where he’s off-balance trying to switch play. He gets pushed in the back, his leg goes to an awkward angle and ends up with an injury.

“Unfortunately for us any injury we’ve picked up this year hasn’t been a one or two-week injury, it’s been six to eight weeks at a time where we can’t afford it.

“We’re really stretched in the attacking and midfield areas and we have been for a long time.

“It’s inhibited our ability to rest players and also change the flow of games by bringing players on who can make a difference.”

Joelinton, a £40million signing from Hoffenheim during the summer of 2019, was one of 11 senior players unavailable for Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat by Manchester City with 10 of them missing through injury or illness.

Howe hopes to have Harvey Barnes and Jacob Murphy back from toe and shoulder problems respectively within the next few weeks, but the depth of his squad has been severely tested in recent months and the demands on those who have played throughout a gruelling schedule have taken their toll.

A prolonged absence for the Brazilian, who has become a key member of the Newcastle team since he was converted from a struggling striker to a powerhouse midfielder, coupled with Sandro Tonali’s 10-month suspension for betting breaches, would represent a further blow.

Howe has drafted 17-year-old Lewis Miley into his preferred 4-3-3 formation when more senior players have been unavailable, but is acutely aware of the responsibility he has heaped on the shoulders of such a young player.

The 46-year-old would dearly love to bolster his resources during the winter transfer window, but both he and chief executive Darren Eales admitted last week that the restrictions imposed by Premier League profit and sustainability rules mean that significant investment was unlikely.

Newcastle had hoped to clinch a loan deal for Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips, but are understood to have baulked at both the fee involved and a purchase clause and their hunt for reinforcements on a budget continues.

What the papers say

Newcastle have dropped out of the fight for Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips due to his loan fee being too expensive, the Telegraph reports. The England international’s proposed move to the Magpies reportedly does not make sense financially. Sky Sports says Juventus, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Everton are all interested in the 28-year-old.

Chelsea are going to demand the £35million release clause for any club who wants to sign their 21-year-old Dutch defender Ian Maatsen, who recently joined Borussia Dortmund on loan, the Telegraph says.

Jesse Lingard could be on the move to the United States with MLS team the Portland Timbers interested in the 31-year-old free agent’s services, the Daily Mail says.

Celtic have got Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher on their radar, the Daily Mail says, but there is also interest from Wolves, Brighton and Brentford for the 25-year-old Republic of Ireland international.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Jhon Duran: Chelsea are reportedly interested in a short loan deal for the 20-year-old Aston Villa forward who has scored two goals in 14 Premier League games this season, Metro reports.

Bruno Guimaraes: Talksport says Paris St Germain are interested in the Newcastle midfielder, who has a £100million release clause.

Pep Guardiola has backed match-winner Oscar Bobb to serve Manchester City for “many, many years” – if they can keep hold of him.

The 20-year-old came off the bench at Newcastle on Saturday evening to snatch a 3-2 victory which catapulted the reigning Premier League champions right back into the thick of this season’s title race.

Bobb’s imperious control and nimble-footed finish, prompted by the brilliance of fellow substitute Kevin De Bruyne, left Guardiola purring, but fully aware that another of his emerging talents could follow Cole Palmer, now plying his trade at Chelsea, out of the door at the Etihad Stadium if he cannot give him the football he craves.

 

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The City boss said: “We have another player for many, many years – if he decides to stay. Maybe he decides for now he is happy with those minutes.

“Cole Palmer was happy with those minutes, but after two or three years, they want more and it’s natural, it’s completely understandable. Maybe I don’t give them those minutes and they decide to go there.

“If he decides to stay, we have a player for many, many, many years.”

Bobb’s cameo at St James’ Park capped a thrilling night of football characterised by a display of increasingly bewildering finishing.

Bernardo Silva gave the visitors a 26th-minute lead when he nonchalantly flicked Kyle Walker’s cross past Martin Dubravka, but they were pegged back by Alexander Isak’s delicious strike 10 minutes before the break and found themselves behind two minutes later when Anthony Gordon repeated the dose.

City dominated the second half without finding a breakthrough until shortly after Guardiola sent on De Bruyne for his first league appearance since August with 21 minutes remaining, and it was he who levelled with a pinpoint 74th-minute effort.

The game appeared destined to finish all square until a minute into stoppage time when Bobb collected De Bruyne’s pass with the deftest of touches, side-stepped Kieran Trippier and stabbed the ball past Dubravka to win it with his first league goal.

Guardiola decided to take Bobb on the club’s summer tour to Asia on the recommendation of director of football Txiki Begiristain and has been richly rewarded since.

He said: “Txiki at the end of the season, he said to me he that Oscar Bobb in the under-23s was the best player by far. Then I said, okay, go to Japan, start to train with us and immediately Oscar got something that is the most important thing, relying on his mates. It’s more important than relying on the manager.

“When the mates can say, ‘Okay, this player can play with us’, that is for the best success, and it was immediate.

“He can play in five positions – striker, right-winger, left, in pockets – he is so dynamic, the work ethic is unbelievable. He doesn’t feel much the pressure.

“An important part of the season is November, December, a lot of games. Important players were not there and Oscar helped us, and that is great, it’s really, really great.”

Eddie Howe has backed record signing Alexander Isak to join Alan Shearer in the Newcastle pantheon after watching him enhance his credentials in a heart-breaking defeat by Manchester City.

The 24-year-old Sweden international capped a fine individual display with a stunning first-half equaliser, yet still ended up on the losing side after the club world champions snatched a 3-2 victory at St James’ Park as a mouthwatering spectacle came to a dramatic conclusion.

Asked afterwards if Isak, a £63million signing from Real Sociedad during the summer of 2022, could go on to enjoy the same elevated status as the club’s record goalscorer Shearer, head coach Howe said: “The goal was very reminiscent of Alan, really, the finish that he delivered.

 

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“He can go on, I think, to achieve incredible things in his career. He’s got so much more to offer.

 

“He’s probably getting back to 100 per cent fit – I wouldn’t say he’s totally there yet. He’s had his own injury troubles this season, but the last two performances and the goals that he’s scored offers a glimpse, really, of his capabilities.

“He is really the all-round striker, in my opinion.”

Isak dragged Newcastle back into a thrilling encounter 10 minutes before the break when, with Bernardo Silva having put the visitors ahead with an impudent flick, he collected Bruno Guimaraes’ looping ball over the top, cut inside Kyle Walker and curled a delicious effort past substitute keeper Stefan Ortega.

When Anthony Gordon matched his feat two minutes later, the Magpies were flying, but a compelling contest was ultimately decided by a tale of two benches, one riven by injury and suspension and the other which included Kevin de Bruyne and the precocious talent of Oscar Bobb.

Howe’s men were coping well with City’s incessant onslaught until De Bruyne making his first league appearance since the opening weekend of the season following a hamstring injury, was introduced as a 69th-minute substitute.

Within five minutes, he had levelled with a pinpoint finish and as Newcastle tired, it was he who picked out Bobb’s stoppage-time run into the box and then looked on as the 20-year-old collected the ball expertly before dispatching it past Martin Dubravka to clinch victory.

In the process, he sent City into second place in the table and condemned the Magpies to a fourth successive league defeat and their first back-to-back failures at home since Amanda Staveley’s successful takeover.

Howe was understandably disappointed by the outcome, but happy with a performance which suggested his team is returning to its best after a bruising run with 14-goal Isak, who has also scored against Aston Villa, Paris St Germain and Liverpool this season, a particular focus.

He said: “Alex is an outstanding individual. His goal was of the highest level, and I thought his energy and his overall performance was outstanding. I thought he was a constant menace.

“He showed his ability to run, he showed his ability to link play and he showed his ability to finish. I’m just disappointed that we couldn’t get him into more dangerous situations in that second half because he could have made the difference for us.”

Pep Guardiola is relieved to have “special player” Kevin De Bruyne back after he inspired Manchester City to victory at Newcastle on his return to Premier League action.

The 32-year-old Belgium international, who had not made a league appearance since August because of injury, endured a disappointing start to his evening on Tyneside when he drilled a free-kick harmlessly into the defensive wall with his first touch.

But he drew City level within five minutes of his introduction and then set up fellow substitute Oscar Bobb to snatch a 3-2 victory in stoppage time.

Asked about his contribution, Guardiola said with a smile: “I am so disappointed in him and upset and grumpy because the free-kick, he didn’t score a goal.

“Apart from that, I had the feeling he was not ready for 90 minutes after five months. We cannot forget – people say, ‘OK he’s ready, he can play after five months 90 minutes’.

“It’s not the case, so that is why he was in that situation. But we had control of the game and his impact in the last 35 minutes, the goal, the assist and how many times he arrived at the byline for the crosses…

“He is a special player. He is a legend, he is beloved by our people and he is fresh in his mind because five months is a lot of time. Hopefully in the second part of the season, he can help us be there until the end.”

City looked to be on their way when Bernardo Silva cheekily back-heeled Kyle Walker’s cross past Martin Dubravka, but superb finishes from Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon inside two minutes put the Magpies ahead.

They retained their advantage until 16 minutes from time when De Bruyne, who had been introduced as a replacement for Silva five minutes earlier, levelled with an astute finish before setting up fellow substitute Bobb to win it in stoppage time.

Assessing a win which took City back into second place behind Liverpool to enhance their title hopes, Guardiola said: “Why should we not try it again?

“We have won (the title) three times in a row, five in the last six, so why not? It’s really important because Liverpool are flying over the last month and we have to go to Anfield, so it’s better to be close to them.”

For Magpies boss Eddie Howe, there was pride in a fine display, but one which ended in disappointment to join a series of near misses this season against the likes of Liverpool and Paris St Germain.

“There was so much promise and so many good things, so to be sat here with nothing is very, very painful,” Howe said.

“The lads have given so much physically in that game. The first half was everything that we want to be. We wanted to be aggressive and front foot. When you do that, you take risks, but those risks were worth it.

“You could see that it paid off at the other end. We still wanted to do that in the second half, we still wanted to play the same way, but we just couldn’t deliver that in the second half.”

On De Bruyne’s contribution, Howe added: “You just hope he’s rusty and not up to full speed yet, but then he comes on and delivers that and you think, ‘Well, there’s no rustiness there’.”

Kevin De Bruyne came off the bench to inspire Manchester City to a 3-2 comeback victory over Newcastle as Oscar Bobb snatched a later winner.

City were trailing 2-1 at St James’ Park when De Bruyne was sent on as a 69th-minute replacement for Bernardo Silva, but he scored within five minutes before setting up fellow substitute Bobb to snatch victory in stoppage time at the end of a thrilling encounter.

Bernardo Silva had given the visitors an early lead with a cheeky flick in front of a crowd of 52,198, but stunning finishes from Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon had the Magpies scenting victory until the Belgium international’s introduction.

The win lifted City, who dominated for long periods but were vulnerable on the counter, into second place in the Premier League table above Aston Villa, who play on Sunday.

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.”

Chief executive Darren Eales has admitted even Newcastle could not resist a “£1billion” bid for one of their biggest names after reporting a loss of £73.4million.

The Magpies, who are 80 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, are considered one of the world’s richest football clubs, but like all their Premier League counterparts they have to operate within profit and sustainability rules.

Sporting director Dan Ashworth has insisted in the past that spending £200m a year on players – Amanda Staveley’s consortium has invested in excess of £400m in the squad since completing its takeover in October 2021 – is unsustainable, prompting speculation that the likes of Sven Botman, Bruno Guimaraes or Alexander Isak could be sold to fund future recruitment.

Asked about that possibility as he discussed the club’s financial figures for the year ending June 30, 2023, Eales said: “It’s difficult to hypothesise, but if we’re offered £1billion for one of those players, then no one could argue against that making sense.

“Any decision we make will always be against the backdrop of the medium to long-term benefit for the club. It’s difficult to say specifically on certain players, but I can say that, if we’re going to get to where we want to get to, at times it is necessary to trade your players.”

Newcastle’s rise since Staveley and her partners – the Ripon-based financier is understood to have reduced her 10 per cent personal stake in the club, but she and the Reuben Brothers still control the remaining 20 per cent of the shares between them – took charge at St James’ Park has been spectacular.

They inherited a side sitting in 19th place in the table and having appointed Eddie Howe as their new head coach, saw him guide them to safety in comfort by the end of the 2021-22 season, and then a fourth-placed finish and Champions League qualification 12 months later with a trip to the Carabao Cup final along the way.

The latest figures, which show a loss after tax of £73.4m, but also how the club have grown off the pitch – turnover increased by £70.3m (39 per cent) from £180m to £250.3m, while an operating loss of £26.4m was transformed into a profit of £20.1m.

However, increased player amortisation costs – the way transfer fees are spread across the length of contracts – rose to £89.3m, contributing to the overall deficit, but one which falls within permitted limits.

The documents also reveal the club have loaned Staveley more than £1.2m “in respect of certain legal fees” which are unspecified.

The results do not include projected revenue of at least £37m from the club’s involvement in this season’s Champions League, nor income from new sponsorship deals with Sela and Adidas, and efforts to increase commercial revenue are ongoing with an expansion of the stadium one possibility.

Eales said: “To put it into perspective, we want to be a top-six sustainable club and Tottenham’s latest accounts available, (total revenue) was £440m. We are at £250m, so there is a big step even to the lower end of the top six.

“We have also seen that Manchester City are £710m in revenue in their latest accounts. There is a long way to go in growing those revenues.”

Eales, who signalled the club’s intention to retain the services of Ashworth amid reported interest from Manchester United, indicated that significant investment during the “difficult” January transfer window is unlikely, but insisted there were no plans to loan players from the Saudi Arabian clubs in which PIF holds controlling interests.

He also confirmed Howe’s centrality to the project amid speculation over his future during a testing series of results as 2023 drew to a close.

Eales said: “There’s no doubt we have had that real progression on the pitch and Eddie is a huge, integral part of that. We hope he is going to be with us for many years to come.”

Newcastle defender Fabian Schar has signed a contract extension which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2025, the Magpies have announced.

The 32-year-old Switzerland defender, whose existing deal was due to expire at the end of the season, has committed his future to the Tyneside outfit for at least another campaign two days after playing his part in a 3-0 derby victory over Sunderland in the FA Cup third round.

A club statement said: “Newcastle United are pleased to announce that defender Fabian Schar has extended his contract at St. James’ Park until the summer of 2025.

 

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“Switzerland international Schar, who turned 32 last month, has made 169 appearances for the club since arriving from Deportivo La Coruna in July 2018.”

Schar, who cost Newcastle just £3million when he arrived from Deportivo, has established himself as a key member of Eddie Howe’s side and a firm fans’ favourite with his no-nonsense style of defending.

He is also confident on the ball and is not afraid to stride forward and take aim at goal, which he did to spectacular effect during the famous 4-1 Champions League victory over Paris St Germain at St James’ Park in October.

Schar, who has been capped 78 times by his country, said: “I’ve said it a lot of times, but I feel really at home here.

“I feel so comfortable living in Newcastle. I love the city and I love playing for the club and the incredible fans. I can’t say enough how much I love them, and how much their support means to me.

“Playing for this team where I feel so comfortable with all my team-mates and with the coaching staff feels really like a family for me, so I’m really grateful to stay here a bit longer and hopefully to have some more exciting times.”

Head coach Howe was delighted to have secured the services of one of his most influential players for another season.

Howe said: “Fabian has been excellent for us. Since I’ve come to the football club, he’s been a model of consistency and a big part of our success.

“He’s defended very well but he’s hugely talented with the ball as well, so we’re delighted that he’s extended his time here.”

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.”

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has urged his players to use their FA Cup derby victory over Sunderland as a springboard for the second half of the season.

The Magpies ended a run of seven defeats in eight games in all competitions with a resounding 3-0 third-round win at the Stadium of Light on Saturday to get the better of their arch-rivals for the first time in 10 attempts dating back to 2011.

A place in the fourth round presents the prospect of a run in a competition which has assumed ever greater importance for the club following their exits from the Champions League and Carabao Cup in December.

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Asked if they could use the win as a launchpad, head coach Howe said: “Well, hopefully. That’s how we have to look at it.

“Naturally when you don’t win for a period of time, confidence can be affected. Our players are the same as any others.

“Today will have done them the world of good. We’ve not just won the game, but we’ve performed well, we’ve scored goals, we’ve kept a clean sheet so all round, it’s a very good day.”

Victory over the Black Cats was significant – it was a first in the FA Cup under Howe after third-round exits at the hands of League One sides Cambridge and Sheffield Wednesday in the last two seasons.

Asked about the prospect of a cup run, Howe said: “We’d love that. The third round has not been kind to us the last couple of years, two difficult moments for us.

“But as I said in the build-up to the game, those moments actually helped us grow. Now we stand here and we know we needed to win today, so we’re delighted to do that and yes, we’d love a run in the FA Cup. It’s an important competition now for us.”

The hosts frustrated Newcastle until 10 minutes before the break, when defender Dan Ballard turned Joelinton’s cross into his own net, and they contributed further to their own downfall when Miguel Almiron robbed Pierre Ekwah to set up Alexander Isak for the second before Ballard handed the Sweden international the chance to double his tally from the penalty spot after barging Anthony Gordon to the ground.

Asked about the white-hot derby atmosphere, Howe said: “I don’t think it was too dissimilar to Milan, to PSG and other places we’ve been this year, so I think those experiences probably helped us.”

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Opposite number Michael Beale was philosophical after a defeat he hopes can help aid his side’s bid for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.

He said: “Let’s be honest, there was a gap between the two teams when we arrived at the stadium today and at the end of the day, we’ve tried to close that gap over 90 minutes and we weren’t able to do that.

“My young team must really be honest with themselves, the staff, the players, everyone at the football club about today because then I think we’ll improve and we can use it in our Championship form for the games we’ve got coming up.

“But the big thing for us is being honest and not hiding away from the fact there is a gap.”

Alexander Isak’s double cemented a first derby victory over Sunderland since 2011 as Eddie Howe finally won an FA Cup tie as Newcastle boss at the third attempt.

Perhaps fittingly at the end of a week during which the Black Cats scored a PR own goal by allowing a bar at the Stadium of Light to be decorated in Magpies colours, much of the damage in a 3-0 defeat was self-inflicted.

Dan Ballard put the ball into his own net and conceded a late penalty after Pierre Ekwah’s error had served up the second for Isak.

Newcastle arrived on Wearside without a victory in nine attempts – a run which included six successive wins for their arch-rivals – in a fixture which had not been played since March 2016, and with Howe under a measure of pressure after a sequence of seven defeats in eight outings in all competitions.

In the event, they won at a canter with the Sky Bet Championship promotion hopefuls, and in particular dangerman Jack Clarke, who was well handled by Kieran Trippier, only really making their presence felt after the game was effectively over.

The visitors, who had gone out of the cup at the same stage to League One sides Cambridge and Sheffield Wednesday in the last two seasons, started on the front foot and Black Cats keeper Anthony Patterson had to make a second-minute save from Sean Longstaff’s header after he had met Miguel Almiron’s cross.

But for all their early possession, they were unable to make the pressure count and Trippier’s deflected 14th-minute free-kick, which was claimed comfortably by Patterson, was as close as either side came in the opening stages.

Longstaff lifted a 22nd-minute shot over after Almiron and Trippier had combined once again down the right, but with Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton and Longstaff struggling to create openings as the hosts got men behind the ball in numbers, Isak was largely isolated.

Isak saw appeals for a 30th-minute penalty waved away by referee Craig Pawson after he had gone to ground under Ballard’s challenge, and Longstaff fired wastefully over following Anthony Gordon’s surge down the left.

However, Newcastle took the lead with 10 minutes of the first half remaining when Joelinton exchanged passes with Guimaraes to get in behind full-back Trai Hume and cross towards Isak at the far post, where Ballard turned the ball into his own net as he tried to deny the striker a tap-in.

The home side’s efforts to get themselves back into the game were repeatedly hampered by their failure to retain possession inside their own half, and they would have gone in at the break two down had Almiron’s acrobatic volley crept inside, rather than just past, the post.

It was 2-0, however, within seconds of the restart when Almiron robbed Ekwah on the edge of his own penalty area and squared for Isak to finish emphatically.

Ekwah very nearly atoned for his error almost immediately when his dipping shot from distance took a deflection and forced keeper Martin Dubravka into a save – his first of the match – with a trailing leg.

Alex Pritchard clipped the bar with a well-struck 59th-minute attempt and then forced Dubravka into a fine one-handed save with 16 minutes remaining with the Black Cats throwing caution to the wind.

However, Isak’s 90th-minute spot-kick, awarded after Ballard had barged Gordon to the ground, completed a comprehensive victory for the Magpies.

A Sunderland fanzine has labelled the club’s decision to decorate a Stadium of Light bar in the colours of arch-rivals Newcastle as a “real schoolboy error”.

The bitter north-east rivals meet on Wearside in the FA Cup third round on Saturday and Sunderland fans reacted furiously when images circulated on Thursday of the Black Cats Bar decked out in banners with the messages: “Keep the Black and White Flying High” and “We are United”. Sunderland’s motto “Ha’way the lads” in red was also replaced with the Geordie spelling “Howay” in black.

Sunderland swiftly apologised for “a serious error in judgment” and announced an immediate review, while chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said he was “disgusted and hurt” by the “inappropriate signs”.

The PA news agency understands Newcastle were invited to submit designs for the bar in December and that they were signed off by a senior member of staff at Sunderland. It is understood the move was intended to lessen the potential for the area to be damaged by rival supporters.

The images added to already-existing tensions among Black Cats fans after season ticket holders were moved from their usual seats in the north stand to accommodate 6,000 travelling Newcastle fans.

Malcolm Dugdale, a contributor to Sunderland fanzine Roker Report, believes the club “haven’t done themselves any favours”.

He told the PA news agency: “For the fans there was the potential that this was really going to cause a hell of a lot of discord, what happened earlier this week and yesterday.

“Now that’s turned around and there’s elements coming out in the media about certain people approved it a number of weeks ago.

“The club have come out, made a couple of statements and backtracked on (the redecoration), which is the right thing to do.

“If we now get a win, I think there’s a chance a certain element of the fanbase will to a certain extent forgive and forget, but if we get spanked then this is prime ammunition for people who might not be fully behind Kyril and the ownership team to really ask some difficult questions.

“Even though it’s kind of an expectation that we might get spanked because of the difference in league positions at the minute, anything other than a really good performance and a close result, I think this could really tear that up.

“The club haven’t done themselves any favours with what’s gone on in the last 48 hours. Real schoolboy errors is the phrase that springs to mind.”

Fanzine A Love Supreme posted on X, formerly Twitter: “At a complete loss for words. What on earth are the club doing?!?!?!

“Let’s hope the players don’t roll over and let the Mags tickle their tummy like the club have.”

Sunderland released a statement on Thursday apologising to fans.

The statement read: “Sunderland AFC acknowledges that a serious error in judgment was made in relation to Black Cats Bar.

“We apologise to our fans for the understandable concern they have fairly voiced in response and this sentiment is shared by the club’s ownership group and board of directors.

“A direct decision has also been taken to return the space to its original state and we once again apologise to our supporters that this was not addressed sooner.”

Sunderland approved the signage for a Newcastle-themed decoration of a bar at the Stadium of Light for Saturday’s FA Cup derby last month.

The PA news agency understands the Magpies were invited to submit designs for the Black Cats Bar, which will provide corporate hospitality for travelling fans for the third-round tie, in December and that they were signed off by a senior member of staff at the Wearside club.

It is understood the move was intended to lessen the potential for the area, which normally carries Sunderland’s livery, to be damaged by rival supporters.

Black Cats fans reacted furiously on Thursday when images of banners proclaiming the messages “Keep the Black and White Flying High” and “We are United” emerged on social media. Sunderland’s motto “Ha’way the lads” in red had also been replaced with the Geordie spelling “Howay” in black.

Sunderland swiftly apologised for “a serious error in judgment” and announced an immediate review, and chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said he was “disgusted and hurt” by the “inappropriate signs”, which have since been removed.

There was already disquiet on the banks of the Wear after the hosts confirmed that Newcastle’s 6,000 allocation would be housed in both tiers of the North Stand, meaning some season ticket holders would have to relocate.

The controversy has added fresh spice to a fixture which is one of the stand-out ties of the round, although Magpies boss Eddie Howe played down suggestions that his club’s fans had been handed a head-start.

Howe said: “No, I don’t feel that. Look, these things can happen, it’s up to Sunderland what they do with their stadium. It’s nothing to do with us.”

The game, the first between the sides for almost eight years, represents Howe’s first taste of the Tyne-Wear rivalry, and he is expecting his players to handle the white-hot atmosphere.

Asked if he thought the signage row could further fuel the passion of the home fans, he said: “Regardless of what you’re expecting, you still have to play the match in front of you.

“We’ve just got to blank out any distractions and play the game and use our support – which I’m sure will be incredible – to propel us to a really good performance.”

Howe’s comments came after Louis-Dreyfus had issued a heartfelt apology to Sunderland fans and promised the club would do better in future.

He wrote on Instagram: “I would like to apologise to everyone associated with Sunderland AFC for the events that have unfolded today.

“Like our supporters, I was disgusted and hurt by the pictures circulating online of the inappropriate signs that have been ripped down.

“I take full responsibility for every decision that is taken by the employees of our club and you have my word that I will personally make sure that we make the necessary changes required to improve because it is clear that there are many areas where we need to be better.”

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