'Under pressure’ - Former Aston Villa CEO makes Eddie Howe claim as Newcastle United ambitions set

Eddie Howe, the Newcastle United managerEddie Howe, the Newcastle United manager
Eddie Howe, the Newcastle United manager | Getty Images
Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe faces a make-or-break campaign almost three years into the Saudi-backed project

Former Everton and Aston Villa CEO Keith Wyness believes Eddie Howe “knows” he could be sacked should results go against him this season.

Newcastle United cruelly missed out on European qualification last year. The club’s goal was to continue competing in UEFA competition, attracting the exposure and revenue that comes with it.

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But Manchester United pulling off an unexpected FA Cup win forced the Magpies to put their passports back in the drawer. Toon supremo Darren Eales outlined Europe as the aim and, in every season since the Conference League’s inception, seventh spot would have ensured exactly that.

It was not to be and, in some ways, bitterly missing out typified Newcastle’s topsy-turvy season. With only domestic football to consider next year, Howe’s goal will be to break back into the top four.

PIF sampled Champions League football in 2023-24 and regularly competing among the continent’s elite is the long-term goal of the Saudi-backed regime. Many view the upcoming campaign as make or break for Howe’s tenure as he prepares for his third full season in charge.

Speaking to Football Insider, ex-Everton chief Wyness claimed Howe is under pressure from the off given Newcastle’s ambitious ownership. He said: “It’s got to be a one-to-two-year plan. The pressure is always there for them right now. They will want to be in that top four next year, that’s a key part for them.

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“A five-year plan means being consistent performers in Europe in one way or another. That will be expected. They will want to see growth and opportunities. The owners are thirsty for success. 

“They will give it time and be patient to a degree. But they urgently want global recognition and to be seen as good owners, and I think that’s important. They will want to have that rub off on the Saudi Pro League as well and to be seen as good owners in that way. 

“The pressure will be on. Eddie Howe knows it and the board know it. It’s got to happen, otherwise, you could end up getting chopped.”

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