Eddie Howe makes ‘intense’ Elland Road claim ahead of Leeds v Newcastle United

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Leeds United and Newcastle United require a result at Elland Road for very different reasons.

Eddie Howe is anticipating an intense atmosphere at Elland Road as both Leeds United and Newcastle United fight to achieve things at opposite ends of the Premier League table.

The Magpies require seven points from their remaining four games to mathematically guarantee a first Champions League campaign in 20 years. Meanwhile, Leeds, who are 19th in the table and two points from safety, are battling to retain their top-flight status.

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“We look forward to this game, we know it’s going to be a great occasion and atmosphere,” Howe said when speaking at his pre-match press conference. “Elland Road is a brilliant place to play but we need to be ready for what’s going to come.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“It’s going to be an intense atmosphere and an important start to the game. Those first 15-20 minutes will have a huge impact on what’s going to happen afterwards.”

Having played the entire season in front of a sell-out St James’ Park, Howe’s squad are accustomed to big atmospheres. The United head coach hopes that helps this afternoon.

“I think the experience helps,” Howe added. “It’s all the same thing, just the noise isn’t with you on that occasion but I think it makes our players robust enough to deal with it. Hopefully, we’re composed enough to play our game and not get caught up in their emotion.

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“We need a different mentality going into this match than we would do at home. But it’s still a game of football and you still have to do the right things to try and win it.”

Leeds have called on former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce to guide them to safety. His reign started with a 2-1 defeat at Premier League leaders Manchester City last Saturday.

“I think we saw enough to see what Sam is going to give the team - clear organisation, clear structure and definite philosophy in and out of possession,” said Howe.

“For us, watching it [Man City v Leeds] back, you could see the impact he’s had on the team in a very short period of time. They’re going to be tough to play against and ask questions of our back four, and we need to find the answers. Set plays, they’re going to be a big threat.

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“It’ll be a totally different test to the one it could have been a couple of weeks earlier.”

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