Newcastle United’s season in danger of crumbling as pressure mounts

Howe ready for fresh challenge after European exit

Newcastle might well be out of Europe, but with a League Cup quarter-final against Chelsea to come in just six days, the domestic cups will either salvage or ruin the first half of their campaign. Thin margins but after three defeats in a row, Howe needs a good result at Stamford Bridge next Tuesday.

Win and Newcastle will be two games away from a second successive domestic cup final and Howe will have another wonderful opportunity to end the most infamous trophy drought in English football.

But lose to Mauricio Pochettino’s side and all of the positive work done since August will start to unravel. Pressure will build, it is just the way things are in football. The stakes are always high and Newcastle cannot always keep losing their chips.

Suddenly, a campaign full of promise is teetering on the precipice. A wrong step now and the ground underneath them will start to crumble. Newcastle will be in danger of taking a tumble.

“Yeah I think that is of course a challenge,” said Howe, when asked if there was danger of a hangover after a defeat like this. “We have another game in two days time and Fulham are going to come here and not make it easy for us. We have to park it and adjust. That will be even more difficult with the result. The Premier League is unrelenting but we have tried to embrace it as a positive, we have tried to play football the Newcastle way. We had to try and go for the win.

“I definitely think that [protecting the confidence of the players] is absolutely part of my job. Confidence is a very fragile thing, even when you are winning, players need to believe how good they can be.

“This is a good test for us. Football is an amazing thing. If you go back 10 days, we had just beaten Manchester United with our best performance of the season and one of our best performances for a while and now we have had three defeats. It is relentless but that is the challenge we accept. We have to park this and move on and I’m sure we will.”


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