Newcastle's long-term plan for Eddie Howe

Newcastle United are planning for the long-term with Eddie Howe, according to Dan Ashworth.

Howe guided the club to an 11th-placed finish in the Premier League last season after taking over when the club was winless and 19th in the division.

And Newcastle are sixth in the table ahead of Sunday’s game against Manchester United.

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Howe signed what was described as a new “long-term” contract with the club in August – the length of the deal was not disclosed – but the 44-year-old is second-favourite with bookmakers, behind Chelsea head coach Graham Potter, to succeed Gareth Southgate as England manager.

However, Ashworth, United’s sporting director, is confident that Howe will not be tempted by any other job given the support he’s getting at St James’s Park.

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"From a club point of view, I’d like to think we’ve done everything we can with Eddie and his staff,” said Ashworth, who spent six years at the Football Association.

“We’ve given Eddie and his staff a long-term deal. So we’ve shown our support to him – and how much we think of him. We’ve tried to give him the right tools, whether that’s facilities or player recruitment.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.

"We’ve just given him all the support we can. That includes the fans. Obviously, I work closely with Eddie – and I speak to him every day.

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"Things are in a good place, and I’d sincerely hope and be confident he'd stay. But I can't speak for Eddie, and I can't speak for the FA about whether Gareth stays until 2024, or whether there’ll be vacancy, or whether Gareth stays beyond that.

"Whether there’s vacancy, or whether Eddie’s on their list, I can't speak for that.

"All we can do is control the controllables – and make sure Eddie gets the support around him that gives him every chance of succeeding."

Asked if there was a clause in the deal allowing Howe to leave for the England job, Ashworth said: "No. We have done everything we can from a contractual point of view that you'd do for a manager to protect the club."

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Howe was asked about the England job last month. He said: “I never say never. But, in the short term, it’s not on my radar at all. It’s all Newcastle – and trying to make this team better.”