Paul Merson and Kris Boyd clash in heated debate about Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United future after UCL exit

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Newcastle United were eliminated from Europe after a narrow 2-1 defeat to AC Milan.

Eddie Howe’s future as Newcastle United manager was the main topic of discussion on Sky Sports News in the aftermath of the team’s 2-1 home defeat to AC Milan.

The Magpies crashed out of Europe entirely and finished bottom of the Group of Death - whilst winning just one of their six matches.

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Many believed that Newcastle’s qualification for the competition in the first place was vastly ahead of schedule but ex-Rangers and Middlesbrough striker Kris Boyd believes the club’s early exit could leave Howe’s future in danger.

After the defeat, Boyd said: “I just think the way it went with Newcastle. The owners will just expect it to happen (Champions League qualification) and they won’t understand how hard it is to get there. They will demand that the club go again. Eddie Howe, I hope it’s not the case but people will start to look at him.”

These comments were quickly dismissed by ex-Arsenal and Aston Villa midfielder Paul Merson who is adamant that the Englishman has done a terrific job since his arrival in 2021.

Merson responded: “I’m not having that. I can understand the Europe thing. But not Eddie Howe. The owners have to be patient. Of course they will. He’s pulled up trees, he’s a top manager and he keeps his calm and he never panics.

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“He won’t be throwing his toys out of the pram. He’s a top manager but now I worry that they will pull the trigger and start signing people just to keep the fans happy.”

Newcastle United return to action in the Premier League against Fulham this weekend in a fixture which comes just days before Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Chelsea.

Speaking in his post match press conference, Howe claimed the club need to use the setback as motivation to improve in the league.

He said: “It’s painful. But that pain is motivation for tomorrow. Now we need to focus on the Premier League and get that right. This game stops for nobody. We have to park this quickly, learn from it, adjust and move on. I don’t want a hangover from this.”

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The Magpies are currently seventh in the league after back-to-back defeats to Tottenham and Everton. However, a victory infront of the St James’ Park faithful could see the Toon rise to sixth position depending on results elsewhere.

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