May 24, 2024

Eddie Howe has acknowledged that Newcastle United will likely need positive results in their upcoming two away matches to have a shot at advancing to the Champions League knockout stage. The recent 1-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund has placed the Magpies in third place in Group F, sharing points with Dortmund and trailing Paris St Germain, the group leaders, by two points.

In the next couple of weeks, Newcastle will visit Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park before heading to the Parc des Princes to face Paris St Germain at the end of the month. Their group fixtures will conclude with a home game against AC Milan, but Howe recognizes that their fate may be decided by then if they can’t secure points on the road.

Eddie Howe won't 'relax on a beach' if Newcastle qualify for Champions  League | The Independent

Howe acknowledged, “It was always expected to be a closely contested group. There are strong teams in our group, and the defeat to Dortmund, especially at home, is a setback. However, we must accept it. We are now facing two extremely challenging away matches, and it’s crucial that we try to gain points from these games. We are up against high-quality teams, and we’ve learned how narrow the margins will be.”

He continued, “Nothing is definitive in the group. We are still in the competition, and we are still fighting, but we have some tough matches ahead. The next two away games will likely be decisive. The league table is extremely close, so these next two matches are of great significance. They are significant games for us, and we must approach them with that mindset.”

“We will travel to Dortmund, and I expect it to be an amazing atmosphere. Just as Dortmund performed well against us at our stadium, we need to do equally well at their venue.”

Despite their earlier victory over Paris St Germain in the Champions League, Newcastle received a sobering lesson in the challenges of playing at the highest level with their loss to Dortmund. The Magpies came close to equalizing late in the match, with Callum Wilson and Anthony Gordon both hitting the crossbar, but they paid the price for their inability to contain Dortmund’s slick attacking play just before halftime.

Howe explained, “At this level, which is the pinnacle of football, even the smallest mistakes can be ruthlessly exploited. We made one such mistake just before halftime when we were on the verge of breaking away ourselves, and moments later, we conceded. This is a clear illustration of the Champions League’s quality, and there are aspects in which we could have performed better. When we analyze the match in hindsight, we will draw valuable lessons, but we are clearly disappointed with the outcome. It underscores the fact that we need to be at our best to succeed at this level. Any dip in performance makes it incredibly challenging to achieve positive results.”

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