Eddie Howe’s quirky response as Newcastle United learn points total needed for top four finish

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Newcastle United are just three wins away from returning to the Champions League.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe is refusing to talk about the prospect of European football - despite being just three wins away from securing Champions League qualification.

Eddie Howe’s side beat bottom-of-the-table Southampton 3-1 at St James’ Park to open up a nine-point advantage over fifth place.

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Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are among the chasing pack but to mathematically guarantee a top-four finish, United must win three of their remaining five matches.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images) | Getty Images

United face Arsenal, Leeds United, Leicester City and Chelsea in their run-in.

“I trust your maths skills, but I think from my perspective and on behalf of all the players, we want to try to win ever game,” Howe replied.

“We’ve got a very tough one to come next here [Arsenal], which will be a great occasion for us, and that’s the only focus that I’ll have on it.”

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It would be a surprise to most if the Magpies failed to end their 19-year absence from Europe’s elite given the position they find themselves in.

“I have to be honest and say I haven’t really digested that, I haven’t really taken myself there,” Howe said. “It might sound a bit strange, but I haven’t.

“I’ve just focused on the next game and the next challenge and the next training session, and then there will be a time when we have to plan because of recruitment and all the other things that come into play. But it’s not the time now because there’s no guarantee of anything.

“We still have to win the games that we need and get the points that we need, so my head is currently where we are presently and that won’t change.”

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