Eddie Howe insists that he retains the ‘support’ of the Newcastle United bosses while admitting that Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier could both miss the FA Cup clash with Sunderland.
For the first time in his Newcastle career, Eddie Howe is feeling a slight pinch of pressure.
Seven defeats in eight games across all competitions – including exits from both the Champions League and the Carabao Cup – will do that, even if Howe has more than enough credit in the bank after last season’s heroics.
Even the 46-year-old’s biggest admirers would have to admit, however, that another loss at the hands of arch rivals Sunderland this weekend will lead to a few awkward questions, Howe’s future the subject of much discussion ahead of the short trip to Wearside.
Eddie Howe under pressure
“I certainly don’t need daily reassurances,” Howe explains, via The Independent. “I feel comfortable in the fact that we are working as hard as we can to improve performances and improve results.
“Obviously I know it’s a results-based business – all the usual things you’d expect me to say – but I do feel the support from the club. And that’s really important in this moment.
“Our next game is our next opportunity to turn our form around. We are very much focusing on our performance and trying to deliver the best account of ourselves as we can.
“It is our opportunity to progress in the cup competition. We have to individually be at our best levels.”
Newcastle’s FA Cup record in recent years is famously, well, dismal. Stevenage and Cambridge are among the lower league outfits who have knocked the Magpies out of England’s most historic club competition in recent years, and a talented, youthful Sunderland will need no extra motivation as they ‘welcome’ their neighbours to Wearside for the first time since 2015.
Newcastle boss previews Sunderland FA Cup clash
Newcastle will enter enemy territory without injured striker Callum Wilson. Kieran Trippier may be unavailable too, although one wonders if he could do with a break after a couple of high-profile defensive blunders.
“We are going to give (Trippier) a late test today and see where he is tomorrow,” Howe adds.
“Callum isn’t too bad, but enough to keep him out of this game and our next game. But hopefully we can get him back for the game with Aston Villa.”