Newcastle United’s view on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool ‘mind games’ amid top four battle

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Liverpool are chasing down Newcastle United and Manchester United for a place in the Premier League top four.

Eddie Howe insists Newcastle United are only focusing on themselves in their bid to seal Champions League qualification.

With three games remaining, the Magpies sit third in the Premier League table and know six points from playing Brighton and Hove Albion, Leicester City and Chelsea will end their 20-year absence from Europe’s elite.

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Liverpool’s seven-game winning streak has caused some worry among the Tyneside faithful. Jurgen Klopp’s side moved one point behind the top four with a 3-0 win at Leicester City on Monday night.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.

Klopp said earlier this week Newcastle would be “happy” if Liverpool weren’t sitting fifth - but believes Howe’s side are “more likely” to seal Champions League qualification in what some may view as mind games from the German.

“A few weeks ago, it was completely out of sight,” Klopp said on the Premier League top four battle. “I couldn’t see it at all, but that did not mean we would not try to get closer. That’s the only thing we did - we got closer.

“I am pretty sure we were in a situation like that years ago in the second season we qualified for the Champions League. Chelsea were winning all the time behind us so we had to win all the games. It’s not comfortable but, in the end, we made it anyway.”

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Howe, however, doesn’t believe United are “being hunted” and insists the only team they are battling is their own.

The Magpies head coach said: “I don’t feel like we’re being hunted. I don’t feel that emotion. It’s us against ourselves, really. That’s how I see it. It’s us trying to be the best we can be. I’ve not focused on any other team all season.

“In my experience, I knew Liverpool were never far away because they are a top team and they are capable of going on runs of wins. They are very similar to Manchester City where they can win a group of games without blinking. They have got that experience.

“For us, we can’t look at it or compare ourselves to Liverpool. We just have to look at us.”

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Newcastle welcome to Brighton to St James’ Park on Thursday night (kick-off 8pm).

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