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Newcastle United season is not ‘over’ insists Eddie Howe after Man City cup exit

MANCHESTER: Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has refuted claims the Magpies’ season is ’over’ after they crashed out of the FA Cup.

A first-half Bernardo Silva double saw City progress at the Etihad, and ensured Howe’s Newcastle missed out on a last four return to Wembley Stadium next month.

While it was an expected result, fans, the players and Howe could not hide their disappointment, especially due to the nature of the loss. Two deflected efforts from Portuguese Silva put them to the sword on the night, while Alexander Isak squandered a number of openings in front of goal.

Despite that, Howe does not believe the season is over, given the Magpies still have 10 games left — and European qualification to play for. Newcastle are currently 10th in the Premier League table, two points off eighth, which is likely to secure a spot in the UEFA Conference League for next season.

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe and Alexander Isak applaud the fans after the match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Britain, on March 16, 2024. (Action Images via Reuters)

“There’s a huge amount to play for,” said Howe. “If people say our season is over, it’s absolute nonsense, as far as I’m concerned. We’re trying to get our best form back to try and win.

”We tried our very best to force them into mistakes, but they didn’t (make any). They were very good. Conceding the two goals that we did didn’t help our cause. It was an uphill battle. We covered a lot of ground, but when we had our moments our last pass was lacking. The difference is their technical quality and their players who can get out of tight situations – it’s at the highest level. We’re trying to get to their level.

“We’ve got 10 massive games left and are only a few points below seventh place [in the Premier League], so we’re looking to end the season on a high.”

Next up for the Magpies is a home double-header against Euro rivals West Ham United and then relegation-threatened Everton. But before the return to league action at St James’ Park later this month, Howe is taking his players for a warm-weather training camp in the Middle East.

The Magpies jetted straight from Manchester to Dubai this weekend and the head coach is hoping to spark the same turnaround in form Newcastle enjoyed last season, after visiting the state. Howe’s men won six out of the last seven post-Dubai — and they might need something similar this time around with Chelsea, Manchester United, West Ham United, Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers all in the hunt for the final Euro slots.

Newcastle have won just four times since December 2. The Magpies have picked up 14 points in their last 14 games and sit 14th in the Premier League form table since the start of December.

Speaking about Dubai, Howe said: “As always there will be a period of relaxation after a very busy period. We’ve got to try and get players fit before our next game and then there will be a period of work where we will analyze (the Manchester City) game and pick the pieces up. We’ll work on, I don’t know what that will be but we’ll look ahead to our next opponent and get some good work in, some fitness work in and come back stronger for it.”

After a week of speculation linking him with a move to the Etihad, Newcastle star man Bruno Guimaraes was visibly devastated at the cup exit. And he took to social media, to pass on his thoughts to fans.

On X, @brunoog97 said: “Struggling to find words now! Disappointed to not go through in the FA Cup. We still have 10 games in the premier league to save our season. We count on our fans as always.”

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