“I don’t feel like we’re being hunted”- Newcastle boss makes top-four claim as Liverpool continue winning run
Eddie Howe does not feel Newcastle United are being “hunted” down by Liverpool in top-four race
Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe does not feel his side are being “hunted” down by Liverpool in the race to finish in the Champions League spots.
After Newcastle dropped points on Saturday against Leeds United, Liverpool smashed Leicester City 3-0 to reduce the game between them and the Magpies to a solitary point.
The North-East club do have a game in hand though, which is to be played on Thursday against an in-form Brighton and Hove Albion at St. James’ Park. The Reds, meanwhile, are on a seven-game winning run.
Talking about Liverpool chasing and what he feels ahead of the Brighton game, here’s Howe (h/t Chronicle Live):
“I don’t feel like we’re being hunted. I don’t feel that emotion. It’s us against ourselves, really. That’s how I see it. It’s us trying to be the best we can be. I’ve not focused on any other team all season.
“In my experience, I knew Liverpool were never far away because they are a top team and they are capable of going on runs of wins. They are very similar to Manchester City where they can win a group of games without blinking. They have got that experience. For us, we can’t look at Liverpool or compare ourselves to Liverpool. We just have to look at us.”
For a manager who has the potential to say rubbish things, this is a balanced take from Howe. He knows it is still in Newcastle’s hands to get a top-four spot in the table. The Magpies just need two wins from their remaining three games to put Liverpool out of the race to catch them.
At the same time, it won’t be easy because they have collected only one point from their last two games (home to Arsenal and away at Leeds). Howe may not admit it but his side are inexperienced in such situations and are very much being hunted by a far superior team when it comes to silverware, pedigree and experience.
So, with Liverpool winning games and not just closing the points gaps, but also the goal difference, the pressure may have shifted towards Newcastle in the last couple of weeks. Hence, the game against Brighton is big for them. A win and they can breathe again. A defeat or a draw and it hangs in the balance.
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From Liverpool’s viewpoint, Jurgen Klopp and the players should focus on winning the remaining two games and getting to 71 points. Having already secured Europa League football, which was looking tough in April, they must enjoy this top-four race rather than take a lot of pressure. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain.