Newcastle United legend wants Eddie Howe to follow Jose Mourinho’s footsteps amid Champions League claims

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The Magpies face a tricky challenge as they look to move closer to landing silverwar

Newcastle United legend Shay Given believes Eddie Howe can follow Jose Mourinho’s example by lifting the Carabao Cup to begin instilling a ‘winning culture’ at St James Park.

The current Roma manager kicked off a trophy-laden spell with Chelsea by securing the League Cup - then known as the Carling Cup - with a 3-2 win over Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. Mourinho went on to lead the Blues to two Premier League titles, two further Carling Cups and an FA Cup during his first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.

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Newcastle’s long wait for silverware has been well-documented, with the 1969 UEFA Fairs Cup Final win over Hungarian club Ujpest Dozsa still the last time a Magpies side got their hands on a trophy. Club legend Jackie Milburn was the inspiration behind the club’s last domestic silverware as he scored in a 3-1 win over Manchester City in the 1955 FA Cup Final and you have to go back to 1927 to find the Magpies’ last top-flight title.

But the appointment of Howe in the aftermath of last year’s takeover by a Saudi-led consortium has led to a return of hope and ambition at St James Park - and an impressive run of form consisting of just one defeat in 14 games has raised the belief silverware finally be on its way to Tyneside.

Howe and his players will hope to move one step closer to a trophy when they host Crystal Palace in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night - and former Gallowgate favourite Given has insisted his old club can follow Mourinho’s lead by placing ‘great emphasis’ on the competition.

He told Mega Casino: “I think Newcastle should absolutely look to win the League Cup. When Mourinho came to this country, he placed a great emphasis on winning that. It has been so long since Newcastle last won a trophy, the cups would be a great way to kick start that winning culture and feeling within the club.

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“Of course, Palace won’t be an easy opponent to face, but I’m sure Eddie will be reminding his players how much it would mean to the fans and the city to win a trophy. The League Cup could have a snowballing effect on the club and it will certainly make future challenges easier for Eddie and the team.”

Given came close to ending the Magpies long wait for silverware during an 11-year stay on Tyneside. The former Republic of Ireland international was in the United squad that fell to successive FA Cup Final defeats in 1998 and 1999, as well as semi-final defeats in the same competition in 2000 and 2005.

However, he did experience life among European football’s elite during his time at St James Park after helping Sir Bobby Robson’s side reach the Champions League in 2002. That led to famous wins against the likes of Feyenoord, Juventus and Dynamo Kiev that have gone down in club folklore.

The current crop of Magpies heroes are currently putting in an unlikely challenge for a return to Europe and will head into the World Cup break sat in fourth place in the Premier League table. Given has witnessed the upturn in fortunes at his old club after visiting Tyneside on pundit duties with broadcasters Amazon, BT Sport and Sky Sports - and he now hopes a return to European football’s elite may not be too far away for United.

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He said: “The atmosphere at St. James’ Park, and we’re seeing this at the moment because of how brilliantly Eddie Howe is doing at the club, is absolutely incredible and the Newcastle fans are incredible. Newcastle is a one-club city and it means so much to the people up there. They call it the Cathedral on the Hill. Fans walk from the pubs and the bars and the restaurants to the stadium, not many stadiums are right in the middle of a city, standing proud, but St. James’ Park is. The fans are very very special up there.

“When the place is rocking, nobody wants to play there. It is a very tough place to go and seeing the atmosphere at the ground now reminds me of when I was there experiencing Champions League football, which provided special nights for those fans. Hopefully we will see even more of that at Newcastle in the future.”

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