‘Absolutely’ - Newcastle United boss responds to Pep Guardiola’s Man City Premier League complaint

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has admitted he ‘sympathises’ with Manchester City’s fixture schedule ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Etihad Stadium.
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The match (8pm kick-off) will take place less than 72 hours after Man City beat Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup in Athens, Greece on Wednesday evening. Newcastle go into the match with a full week to prepare following their 5-1 win against Aston Villa at St James’ Park last weekend.

Ahead of the match, Guardiola sarcastically thanked the Premier League for scheduling the Newcastle fixture at the Etihad Stadium.

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The City boss said: “We recover as much as possible because, again, from Greece, thank you so much for the Premier League to let us play on Saturday and not on Sunday or Monday, thank you so much!”

With Newcastle likely to face a similar issue when they play Champions League group stage matches over the coming months, Howe was sympathetic to Man City’s situation.

“Absolutely [sympathetic], especially as they were the only team playing in midweek,” he said during his Friday press conference. “But we’d love that problem for ourselves because they’ve won the Champions League - the ultimate competition to win.

“I do feel for him in a sense of the scheduling but there’s nothing we can do about that.

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“[Manchester City] are the standard bearers of where other teams need to get to. I saw a team [in the Super Cup] hugely motivated to win, which is the biggest compliment I can pay the team on the back of the treble.

“They went into a tough game and were desperate to win. They won’t be complacent, they’ll be ready for us.”