Newcastle United facing ten cup finals following Eddie Howe’s ‘absolute nonsense’ claim

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Newcastle United are out of the FA Cup and now face a huge battle to secure their return to European football.

Speaking after Newcastle United’s FA Cup exit to Manchester City, Eddie Howe described claims their season is effectively over ‘absolute nonsense’. The Magpies were defeated by two first-half Bernardo Silva goals and whilst they put up a spirited second-half performance, the defeat meant their last chance at silverware this season has eluded them.

So what now for Howe’s side? Both domestic cups have come and gone whilst their Champions League journey is nothing but a distant memory.

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They now simply have to re correct a sliding Premier League course and they have just ten games to do that. Ten cup finals between now and an end of the season that could be pivotal in shaping how their future looks.

Howe is of course correct in saying the club have plenty to play for between now and mid-May with European qualification in any form now a priority for the club. But their performance against City, coming just six days after their hugely disappointing defeat at Stamford Bridge, is a worry and will build fear from those on the outside looking in that their season is coming to a slow and uneventful end.

Speaking ahead of the City game, Howe defended his side against criticism from Jamie Carragher after the former Liverpool man claimed some Newcastle players were ‘almost ready for the end of the season’. In response, Howe said: “I don't like to hear that. I didn't know he had said that, but he is entitled to his opinion.

“That's not how we are internally. That's not how we're working. Our training standards and intensity are still there. We're determined to end the season well - regardless of what happens tomorrow. No part of us is thinking ahead - too far ahead anyway.”

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A trip to Dubai and a chance for some warm weather training could be the answer for Newcastle’s problems - but they’ll only find out if that has worked when West Ham come to Tyneside in just less than a fortnight’s time. That match, if it wasn’t already, is now a huge game and one Newcastle simply cannot afford to lose if they want to secure continental football next season.

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