Eddie Howe spoke about the future of Allan Saint-Maximin amid £50m exit speculation, and opened up on whether he’d have taken the managerial post without the Saudi-led takeover.
The Magpies were thumped 5-1 by Tottenham last time out. Spurs’ front three of Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski were in irresistible form and proved too tough to contain for Newcastle’s beleaguered backline.
In the aftermath, Newcastle drew criticism for their open approach that allowed Tottenham’s forwards to thrive.
And ahead of their Friday night clash with Wolves, Howe was keen to stress the criticism they received was not without merit.
“I think there should be criticism for our second-half performance,” said Howe via the Chronicle.
“Certainly, I was very critical of it and I know the players were disappointed with it as well so we’ve got no issues taking that. We have to respond now.”
Newcastle’s fixture with Wolves will mark their first home match for over a month.
Howe’s men last turned out at St. James’ Park on March 5 – a 2-1 victory over Brighton.
The fixture list then churned out four successive away games, and Howe claimed it’ll be a “massive” boost to get back to the “electric” atmosphere their home fans provide.
“It’s massive for us to be back home,” continued Howe. “It does feel like a long time. We’ve been away from home too long.
“It’s great to get back, play in front of our crowd and try and generate that atmosphere going back to our recent home games where it’s been electric.”
Eddie Howe at Newcastle without Saudi takeover?
Eddie Howe was then asked if he’d have taken the Newcastle gig if the club hadn’t been infused with Saudi cash.
The boss emphatically responded: “Absolutely I would have been because of the size of the club. The history. The support base – everything connected to Newcastle. I’m absolutely loving the responsibility.”
Finally, the subject of the future of Allan Saint-Maximin was addressed.
The Daily Mail recently claimed the French talisman could be sacrificed this summer if bids of around £50m are lodged. That would then aid their recruitment team in landing their more ambitious targets without having to sanction a monstrous spend.
Saint-Maximin wants more money from Newcastle
Allan Saint-Maximin wants a new Newcastle deal with bigger wages as 2 Premier League clubs interested in the winger
However, if Howe’s comments are anything to go by, Saint-Maximin isn’t going anywhere.
“I’ve got a great relationship with Maxi,” he concluded.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with him and we need him at his very best levels. He could potentially be the difference. He’s an incredible talent and of course he has a long-term future at the club.”