Eddie Howe's clever response when asked if Newcastle United would exploit £44m Man Utd player's weakness

Newcastle United v Manchester United: Eddie Howe has discussed Nick Pope and Andre Onana after contrasting Champions League performances during the week.
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Eddie Howe admitted 'there would be problems' if he wasn't encouraging his Newcastle United players to shoot at Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana this weekend.

Newcastle host Manchester United at St James' Park on Saturday (8pm kick-off) following midweek Champions League draws for both sides. The Magpies drew 1-1 at PSG while Man United let a 3-1 lead slip at Galatasaray to draw 3-3.

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The Newcastle and Manchester United goalkeepers had contrasting evenings between the sticks. Nick Pope put in a man-of-the-match display to make several excellent saves to keep PSG at bay while Onana made another error that may end up costing Man United their place in the Champions League this season.

Onana was at fault for a couple of Galatasaray goals in midweek, but no goalkeeper has kept more clean sheets than him in the Premier League so far this season.Onana was at fault for a couple of Galatasaray goals in midweek, but no goalkeeper has kept more clean sheets than him in the Premier League so far this season.
Onana was at fault for a couple of Galatasaray goals in midweek, but no goalkeeper has kept more clean sheets than him in the Premier League so far this season.

When asked about the performances of both goalkeepers, Newcastle head coach Howe said: "They are both top goalkeepers. I can only speak on behalf of Nick, not anyone else, I’d never do that.

"The saves he made in Paris were some of the best I’ve seen live. There was one in the second half that I thought was a certain goal, when he stuck out a hand, it was an unbelievable save. We really needed him, and this is a part of the season where we need everyone to step up.

"He made another outstanding save against Chelsea. He is a huge player for us."

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One area of Pope's game that has been the subject of criticism has been his distribution. But Howe feels the 31-year-old has made significant strides in that department since his £10million arrival from Burnley last summer.

"His character is undeniably so good for us," Howe added. "He’s very popular in the group. Our whole goalkeeping department has been very strong. Martin performed very well against Man United in the Carabao Cup. Loris is training well. 

"Nick’s kicking is vastly improved. Hopefully, under coaches’ guidance, that will continue to be the case."

When asked if he'd be encouraging his Newcastle players to shoot on sight against the struggling Onana in the Manchester United goal, Howe was clever with his response.

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 "I’m always encouraging my players to shoot, there would be problems if I wasn’t!" Howe smirked. "Against any opponent you analyse them as a whole, not individuals, to go, 'Right, how can we implement the best strategy to win the game?'. That won’t change."