'Any way you want' - Eddie Howe responds to strong Newcastle United 'failure' suggestion

Eddie Howe has responded to suggestions that Newcastle United’s season will be a failure if they miss out on Europe.

Eddie Howe will let others decide if Newcastle United’s 2023-24 season has been a failure - should they miss out on European qualification.

The Magpies head to Brentford for the final game of the campaign on Sunday (kick-off 4pm) sitting 7th in the Premier League table. Finishing 6th will guarantee a spot in Europe, but they will need to beat the Bees and hope Chelsea lose at home to AFC Bournemouth.

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Equalling Manchester United’s result away to Brighton & Hove Albion will secure 7th but that will only become an entry into Europe if Manchester City stop Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils from winning the FA Cup next week.

Eddie Howe could not believe his luck at Old Trafford last nightEddie Howe could not believe his luck at Old Trafford last night
Eddie Howe could not believe his luck at Old Trafford last night

“It’s a big last day for us, there’s no denying that,” admitted Howe. “We go into the game against Brentford knowing we have to do our part which is try and win the game. But it’s going to be a tough game for us and then we’re in the hands of other clubs.

“The players are determined to finish on a high. The last couple of games have been difficult for us, we could have got more but we didn’t and that has left us in a position where we are looking at other results.” 

After qualifying for the Champions League last year, Howe’s men are bidding to become the first Newcastle team in 20 years to play in Europe in back-to-back seasons. That is despite suffering from an unprecedented amount of injuries.

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But given the club’s high ambitions under their Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia owners, would missing out on Europe be deemed as a failure?

“You can bracket it any way you want to,” Howe replied. “Like I said earlier, this has been a season where it could have been so much more, and those moments will frustrate me, sure, for a long time.”

He said: “There's a lot happened. It's been, I think, a really good season, we've enjoyed it. We're frustrated with it as well, I think we'll look back with a tinge of 'What could have been' in many aspects, whether you're taking the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup, the Champions League, the Premier League. I think we've done okay, I think we've done well – but it could have been so different, it could have been even more memorable, so that will be a frustration that will live with me.

“But you have to quickly leave it behind and look forward to next year and to next summer because there's always another opportunity because we have to learn the lessons – and there have been loads of them this year that we can improve as a football club, and that's what we're trying to do.”

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