Former Newcastle United manager makes bold Eddie Howe prediction amid Champions League charge
After 14 matches, Newcastle sit third in the Premier League table with Sunday’s 4-1 win at Southampton guaranteeing them a place in the top four heading into the World Cup break. The Magpies haven’t finished inside the top four since the 2002-03 season, but their current form has certainly got people talking.
All of a sudden, United are being assessed as potential Champions League qualification contenders having picked up 19 points out of their last 21 available. They have the joint-best defensive record in the league and have lost just once.
But in order to achieve a top four finish, Eddie Howe’s side would have to maintain a strong run of form for the remainder of the season.
Former Newcastle manager Graham Souness was asked whether Howe would be able to keep the results coming. He told Sky Sports: “I’m not so sure, but you never know if injuries are kind to them.
"The manager is getting a tune out of players that other managers couldn’t and that’s to his credit.
"I think the players they’ve brought in have certainly helped his squad in terms of quality and they’ve bought into it very quickly. If it’s going up there, it’s a fabulous place to play your football.”
Next up for Newcastle is a Carabao Cup match against Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening. And Souness feels Howe could be the man to end the club’s long trophy drought.
“They haven’t won a trophy since 1969, a club of that size,” he added. “I was like every manager that took that job, you walk into that stadium, go up the tunnel, you turn around and you see that big stand and you think ‘if I can get this going, if I can get this right’.
“Maybe [Howe] is the man to achieve this. I think with the owners they have, although there has to be criticisms, you have to accept it’s here to stay, there are criticisms of the owners, justified ones in my opinion.
"But they aren’t used to playing second fiddle to anyone in anything they do, the Saudis. If they show they are on the right track, expect fireworks up there because they will back the manager.”