We’re going for everything – Eddie Howe not scared of Champions League challenge

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Eddie Howe is confident a Champions League adventure next season would not come too soon for Newcastle.

The Magpies strengthened their grip on a place in the top four over the weekend when their victory over Manchester United, coupled with Tottenham’s draw at Everton, left them in third place in the Premier League with 11 games remaining.

Head coach Howe is only too aware of the twists and turns which could unfold as the season approaches its conclusion, but just 17 months after taking over a club in severe danger of dropping out of the top flight, he has no fears about rubbing shoulders with Europe’s big guns if that is what transpires.

Asked if that kind of exposure would come too soon, the 45-year-old said: “It would be dangerous for me to say that to anyone.

“We want to achieve whatever we can and push as hard as we can. There is no part of us that is trying to keep anything down, that goes against my internal beliefs. We are going for everything.”

The Magpies head into Wednesday night’s trip to West Ham locked together with United and Spurs on 50 points, but having a far superior goal difference to both and two games in hand on the latter.

As a result, they are being tipped to secure a top-four berth for the first time since Sir Bobby Robson’s side did it in 2002-03, when they finished third.

Newcastle director Amanda Staveley's consortium has already invested more than £250million in the squad
Newcastle director Amanda Staveley’s consortium has already invested more than £250million in the squad (Peter Byrne/PA)

He said: “To a degree, yes. We need all eventualities covered so we’re not behind the curve depending on what happens. We’re in the process of doing all that work now.”

Asked if the ambition within the dressing room is matched in the boardroom – something that was rarely the case during Mike Ashley’s ill-fated tenure – Howe replied: “Yes, definitely, I think we’re aligned. I think we’re aligned all through the football club.

“There is a huge amount of work for us to do (in the summer) on every level. Football never stands still. The teams competing with us will all try and do the same thing.

An eventful Sunday left Howe celebrating a statement 2-0 victory over Manchester United, but also reflecting upon the volatility of his profession as Chelsea boss Graham Potter and Leicester counterpart Brendan Rodgers both lost their jobs, leaving him as the eight longest-serving manager in the Premier League.

He said: “It’s crazy, isn’t it? It really is. I feel like I’ve just come through the door.”

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