HomePremier LeagueNewcastle focused on securing top-10 finish, says Howe

Newcastle focused on securing top-10 finish, says Howe

Soccer Football – Premier League – Newcastle United v Arsenal – St James’ Park, Newcastle, Britain – May 16, 2022 Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

(Reuters) – Relegation battlers Burnley can expect no favours from resurgent Newcastle United on Sunday as Eddie Howe’s team try to clinch a top-10 finish at the end of a transformational season.

When Howe took charge in November with Newcastle second from bottom of the Premier League and heading towards relegation.

But an astonishing turnaround means they go into the final day of the campaign in 12th place with 46 points, two points behind Brighton & Hove Albion in 10th.

Burnley, who are battling Leeds United to avoid finishing in the last relegation place, are currently 17th with the same amount of points (35) as Leeds.

“I respect Burnley and know the position they’re in but we have a job to do,” Howe told reporters on Friday.

“We represent Newcastle and we’re proud to do that. An opportunity to finish in the top 10 shouldn’t be underestimated so we’ll give our all to try and achieve that.”

Newcastle secured an impressive 2-0 win over Arsenal on Monday thanks to an own goal from Ben White and a late strike from Bruno Guimaraes.

Howe heaped praise on his squad for their performance against the London club, urging them to reproduce the level of football they displayed during that win.

“I think in terms of performance that’s the highest standard we’ve reached,” Howe said. “That will be the marker we judge ourselves against now, knowing we’re capable of delivering that.

“We have to get close to those levels, if not surpass them, on a consistent basis.”

The Newcastle boss said he would decide late on the availability of defender Fabian Schar and striker Chris Wood.

Schar left the field early in the second half against Arsenal on Monday after a clash with Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah while Wood has been struggling with a hip injury.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; editing by Martyn Herman)