Howe claims EFL Cup ‘semi-finals mean nothing’ if they don’t reach the final
Despite being proud of their season so far, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe admits that EFL semi-finals mean nothing if they don’t reach the final.
Newcastle are set to face Southampton in EFL Cup semi-final in a two-legged contest but despite reaching this stage, also standing third in the Premier League table, Eddie Howe claims they haven’t achieved anything yet.
Southampton, who knocked out competition’s favorite, Manchester City, in the quarter-finals, will host Newcastle in the first leg at St. Mary on Tuesday.
has reached EFL Cup’s semi-finals stage only twice in the 63-year history of the competition, but having reached this stage doesn’t impress Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.
"We're delighted to be where we are, but the semi-final isn't enough",
"To say you got into a semi-final means nothing. We want to go one step further and I know the players feel the same way."
The Magpies haven’t reached a domestic cup final since their 2-0 loss against Newcastle in the 1999 FA Cup final. However, Howe refused to acknowledge Newcastle reaching a semi-final an achievement, stating:
"It's dangerous for me to answer that with a 'yes' because then it sets a dangerous ceiling mentally.
"We're proud to be where we are, but we want more, and all season the players have shown that mentality.”
In regards to double ties against Southampton and its importance for fans, Eddie Howe explained:
"Leading the club is something I don't take lightly. But I don't feel burdened by any external pressure. I don't think I could live like that.
"I understand the importance of the games to everybody - me included - but I try to approach the games in the same way: being very analytical in the build up, understanding our opponent.
"We trust our training and our work, and then sit back and see the results in the game. You have to have that mindset where you're not too emotionally involved in the game."
"We want it to be a tie for the supporters and the only way we can guarantee that is by performing at our best.
"I think the away game will be a really good spectacle for the fans that travel. It’s on telly so everyone will get a chance to watch the game, and then the home game will be a very special night.
"Our job is to make sure we’re in a good position going into that tie."
While they’ve lost Chris Wood to Forest, goals have dried up for Magpies but Howe confirmed that they’ll be looking to replace him, as he said:
"It's no secret - losing Chris was a blow to us.
"We're not necessarily looking for a like-for-like transfer, but someone that can boost us in the attacking areas.
"The club are trying. There’s no positive news to give you, but there’s a lot of work going on."
He then went on to rubbish the departure rumors surroundingJonjo Shelvey
as he said:
"I’ve been surprised with all the speculation. I’ve got no idea where that’s come from.
"It’s certainly not coming from us. Jonjo’s a very valued member of the squad."
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