Eddie Howe speaks of 'PAIN' after Newcastle fail to reach Champions League last-16 following 2-1 defeat by AC Milan – but insists his side 'should not' have protected a draw to qualify for Europa League
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Eddie Howe speaks of 'PAIN' after Newcastle fail to reach Champions League last-16 following 2-1 defeat by AC Milan – but insists his side 'should not' have protected a draw to qualify for Europa League

Feb 6, 2024
  • Joelinton produced a fantastic goal in the first half but it was not enough in end
  • With the score at 1-1 Newcastle would have been confirmed in the Europa League
  • Back off Erik ten Hag! Insipid Man United performances are on the players – not the manager – Listen to why on It’s All Kicking Off 

Eddie Howe spoke of his ‘pain’ after watching Newcastle surrender a place in the last 16 of the Champions League and crash out of Europe following defeat by AC Milan.

The Magpies were leading 1-0 approaching the hour thanks to Joelinton’s first-half strike but goals from Christian Pulisic and Samuel Chukwueze swung an end-to-end contest in favour of the Italians, who took the Europa League consolation prize.

And Howe said: ‘You are playing AC Milan in the Champions League, so you have to get everything right. The pain doesn’t change, you have exited two competitions you are desperate to be in.

‘But any time you don’t achieve what you want, you have to use it as fuel, that has always been my way. The pain you feel now is motivation for tomorrow.’

Howe, though, was disappointed at the nature of the goals conceded, especially with his side in control at 1-0.

Newcastle did not even have the consolation prize of a place in the Europa League

Newcastle did not even have the consolation prize of a place in the Europa League

After Joelinton¿s sumptuous first half strike, Milan rediscovered their poise and attacked

After Joelinton’s sumptuous first half strike, Milan rediscovered their poise and attacked

‘I’m desperately disappointed and it’s tough to take at the moment,’ he said. ‘We were good value in the first half and wanted to consolidate that in the second half. I’m really disappointed with the first goal. That’s the key moment. We didn’t deal with the second phase of a transition. That’s elite competition, any mistake is punished.’

Should Newcastle have then protected third position and stayed in Europe at 1-1?

‘We wanted to qualify for the Champions League, for sure,’ said Howe. ‘That was very much our intention before and in game.

‘I am not sure in that moment you can take that will away from the players. The goals have come from mistakes that can happen in any moment, whether you are being proactive or reactive. I take ownership of that, but you would much rather go for the win.’

Newcastle battled hard and were excellent for periods but they are now out of Europe

Newcastle battled hard and were excellent for periods but they are now out of Europe

Joelinton produced a remarkable strike to send St James' Park into a frenzy in the first half

Joelinton produced a remarkable strike to send St James’ Park into a frenzy in the first half

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