Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Eddie Howe issues response to Newcastle doubters with ‘strong’ claim ahead of Liverpool challenge

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe insists Newcastle will not alter their style despite an obvious need to pick up points when they face Liverpool at Anfield on Monday.

The Magpies will head to Merseyside sitting ninth in the Premier League standings after an alarming dip in form. A long injury list has not helped but they have lost four of their past five top-flight matches to slide down the table. Having been close to the top four after a 1-0 triumph over Manchester United on December 2, they could soon be in the bottom half of the table.

And a trip to face the current league leaders is the last thing any manager would want for his under-pressure troops.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have lost just once so far this term, winning four and drawing two of their last six league outings.

Therefore it would be no shock if Howe set up his men to try to sneak a point from Anfield.

However, the former Bournemouth chief has made it clear they will try to give as good as they get on New Year’s Day.

“If it was that easy, we’d all be parking the bus. Going to Anfield is a very difficult ground. Their record there says that,” he told the Newcastle Chronicle.

“But you also have to play to your strengths and you have to be a threat in the game.

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“I said that many times, if you are not a threat the other way then that totally plays into your opponents’ hands.”

Howe insists Newcastle will adapt

Newcastle United have spent a considerable amount of money since the Saudi-backed takeover.

However, the Tynesiders have been without Sandro Tonali since his suspension while Harvey Barnes remains absent.

Nick Pope is likely to miss the majority of the rest of the campaign and Howe has been struggling for bodies at times.

The north-east outfit have been praised for their style of play. But they have been unable to land much of a blow during the current run.

Defeat to Luton Town and Nottingham Forest heaped further pressure on the boss and saw his tactics questioned.

But Howe has made it clear that his charges know what they are doing and can adapt to the situation.

“In terms of the Plan B, we have many variations of how we play,” he added.

“There’s loads of Plan Bs. But they are based around a Plan A. So we are not going to throw everything away.”

And the popular coach does not feel it is all doom and gloom, with his players still performing to a decent standard.

“If you look at some of the statistical markers we look at and base our performance around we are still very strong,” he continued.

“We are still very strong in lots of the key markers. So we have to be very careful that we don’t go too far away from what we do.”

January could prove to be another tricky month in the league, however, as Manchester City visit St James’ Park after the Liverpool clash.

And a trip to high-flying Aston Villa follows to close out the month.

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