Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe believes the fight for a top four finish in the Premier League is far from over, despite holding a eight point lead over current number five Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand. The Magpies are close to returning to the Champions League for the first time in twenty years after they secured a stunning 4-1 win over Everton on Thursday.
“We know nothing is taken for granted from our perspective,” said Howe after the game. “It puts us in a lot stronger position. To get six points from Tottenham and Everton is a great return. It was always going to be a difficult game for us but we handled the occasion well in a hostile environment. The first goal was going to be crucial. It was probably our best move and it came at a good time for us.”
“The confidence was there and it was evident in the second half, maybe a bit of the edge of the game had gone but I think we had to earn the right to get to that point because Everton put us under pressure in the first half.” With six games to go in the season, Newcastle will face Arsenal and in-form Brighton & Hove Albion before they will be finishing the season at Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.
Everton manager Sean Dyche was unhappy with the 4-1 defeat against Newcastle. The English manager saw his team starting very well, but failing to capitalise on the chances they created in the opening quarter. “Very disappointed in the end. I thought the first half we did everything I wanted, other than concede, everything I thought was right about the performance against a good side in Newcastle.”
“Mixing our play, the energy, the pressing, I thought it was all there. As soon as the second goes, which is really a poor goal defensively, it is how quickly the game gets away. We can’t let that happen. It happened against Fulham (the last home game which they lost 3-1), the whole performance changed on one goal and it happened again tonight so we have to correct that very quickly.”