Eddie Howe responds to Pep Guardiola’s shock Newcastle United prediction
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes Newcastle United are Premier League title contenders.
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The Magpies have picked up 27 points from their opening 14 games, lifting them to third in the table and will remain in the Champions League spots during the World Cup after Sunday’s 4-1 win at Southampton.
United’s start to the campaign has been so impressive that Manchester City boss Guardiola named Howe’s men as one of seven teams who could become Champions of England this season.
“I would say Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea, Newcastle, Tottenham, United and Liverpool. It think these teams can fight for the title,” Guardiola said. Pressed about Newcastle, the Spaniard added: “Because they have incredible physicality to the way they play and they are playing one game a week, they are not playing in Europe and when this happens that’s a big advantage when you arrive in the last months with energy. They have incredible energy and imagine how they are after one week.
“They have a good manager, top class players, they have experienced ones, physicality in the middle, box to box transitions, the way they make the intensity without the ball is so impressive, the press high and they go with real rhythm and I imagine they are going to stay there for a long time.”
Eddie Howe’s response to Pep Guardiola’s comments
And when Guardiola’s comments were put to Howe, the Magpies head coach said: “I didn’t see those comments. Pep is someone I respect immensely. I’m not sure whether it’s an honest reflection that he’s given or whether he’s just trying to put more pressure on us. It’s difficult without the context of the interview he’s given but he’s someone I respect, so thank you, Pep.”
“I think we’ve had it the other way.” Howe added. “We had a relegation battle this time last year, and it isn’t enjoyable to be a part of. Obviously, the end result was an enjoyable experience because we came out on the right side of it but when you’re in it, it’s very difficult to enjoy it.
“We’re trying to saviour what we’re doing at the moment and enjoy the process of going into the next game in a healthy position but as we know in football, there are no guarantees.
“As I said right at the start (of the press conference), things can change very quickly. So let’s enjoy what we’re doing and focus on trying to achieve more in the future.”