Eddie Howe reveals his internal strategy ahead of Newcastle United’s Champions League shoot-out

Eddie Howe has urged his Newcastle United history makers to seize the moment and “enjoy” themselves ahead of their five-game Champions League shoot-out.

For the first time since Sir Bobby Robson guided the Magpies to Europe’s top table in 2003, Newcastle fans could be enjoying this summer’s Champions League draw with United’s name in the pot alongside big hitters such as Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona. But Howe has opted against increasing pressure on his players in the run-in.

The ex-AFC Bournemouth boss knows that his squad have come a long way in a short space of time. And that in years to come he and his players, a squad that will be regarded as his first real group of players on Tyneside, will treasure these moments.

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Howe told Chronicle Live: “I agree we will. Time has a funny way of changing how you look at things. I’ve really enjoyed this season in a strange way. It’s not enjoyable as you are living the moments.

“When you look back, I know I will and think what an incredible experience it was. I want the players to do the same thing.”

Howe used different tactics on United’s run to Wembley for the Carabao Cup final earlier in the season. Back then he was happy to remind players – via information screens at the club’s Benton base – how long it had been since their last major trophy.

Two decades on since Newcastle were knocked out of the Champions League by Partizan Belgrade, Howe has produced a more relaxed environment. To football’s financial observers, the Champions League is worth much more than lifting the Carabao Cup.

But Howe said: “As I have said I don’t want to burden them with expectation or pressure. That’s not the right way to go about it.

“Our experience is about enjoying what we are doing and meeting the challenges we are facing with no fear. That’s what we are doing and hopefully we will have a successful end.”


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