'I don't need' - Eddie Howe responds to claims he's under pressure at Newcastle United

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images
Eddie Howe has responded to claims he's under pressure at Newcastle United.

Eddie Howe says he feels the support of Newcastle United's owners amid suggestions he's under pressure to keep his job.

Howe is going through his most difficult period since taking the Magpies job in November 2021 with seven defeats in the eight games resulting in two cup exits - the Carabao Cup and Champions League - and slipping to ninth in the Premier League table.

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A report in Spain earlier this week claimed United were admirers of Girona manager Michel Sanchez. When asked about the external noise surrounding his position, Howe replied: “We (Howe & owners communicate all the time. I certainly don't need daily reassurances.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

"I feel comfortable in the fact that we are working as hard as we can to improve performances and improve results. Obviously I know it's a results-based business - all the usual things you'd expect me to say - but I do feel the support from the club and that's really important in this moment."

In Howe's first season as boss, he steered the club away from Premier League relegation. The following year, United incredibly finished in the Champions League spots and reached the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

Having exited both the latter competitions in the last month, the FA Cup represents Newcastle's only chance of ending their 69-year trophy drought this season.

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Newcastle travel to bitter rivals Sunderland in the third round on Saturday in what is the first Tyne-Wear derby for almost eight years. Derby losses, or wins, can be defining as past managers have found out, but Howe insists he isn't "thinking of it like that".

Howe continued: "I'm just thinking it's a game we need to do very well in. You can't control lots of things in this job when you're in my shoes but certainly, I'm looking to control what the players are doing."

On the pressure a game with Sunderland brings, Howe added: “Personally speaking, I take myself away and prepare for the match like it’s any other but you do know this game is like no any other.

"It’s not going to be underestimated in any way from my perspective but you can still only coach the team in a way you see fit. And of course, you have to get that balance right for the players in terms of building the game up but also controlling emotion and making sure we’re playing the game and not the occasion.

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"We have to get all those things right in our preparation and make sure the players enter the pitch in the best possible condition.”

Newcastle are winless in their last nine derbies against Sunderland with their last win coming at the Stadium of Light in August 2011. Howe's men are the clear favourites heading into the tie because of their Premier League status compared to the Black Cats, who are in the second-tier.

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