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Carabao Cup

A "massive opportunity" for Newcastle, says Howey

21 December 2020

Steve Howey believes the 2020/21 Carabao Cup represents a great chance at silverware for his former club, Newcastle United, who are just one win away from the Semi-Finals.

Newcastle are preparing to face Sky Bet Championship side Brentford on Tuesday evening, having already seen off Blackburn Rovers, Morecambe and Newport County to get to this stage.

Speaking exclusively to the EFL ahead of the midweek Quarter-Final in West London, Howey says anything can happen with just eight teams remaining on the road to Wembley.

"If you look at the teams that are left you have Brentford, Stoke, Newcastle and then those left after that are somewhat the top teams, including Everton, who have been brilliant. It is a massive opportunity for the remaining teams," he said.

"It will be a tough ask for anyone that goes through, but it is a one-off game and we have seen so many upsets over the years, so it is absolutely possible.

"It will be a difficult game. I think Newcastle this season have had some good results but they have also had some not so good results, and then there has been a mix of them both with their performances."

Brentford reached last season's Championship Play-Off Final and are going well in the division again this season, and Howey has warned that the hosts - as well as their former Newcastle striker Ivan Toney - should not be underestimated.

"If you look at Brentford at this particular moment, they are fourth in the Championship, unlucky not to get promoted last season and then to take the hit with Ollie Watkins leaving was a big blow for them, but they have an ex-Newcastle player there," he added.

"I think he went about three or four games without a goal and now he’s banging them in left, right and centre. I think it was a decent amount of money that Brentford paid for him but at the same time he was banging goals in for Peterborough as well.

"I am really pleased for the lad because there are not many players that will come through an academy and go right through to the first team; I was one of the lucky ones at Newcastle, I was there for 14 years from the age of 13.

"He's a big strong boy who can score goals with both feet, he is good in the air, and he has got all the attributes of a top player. He is a man on fire."

The Bees have beaten three Premier League teams on their way to the last eight, something which adds another layer to what Howey expects to be a fantastic tie.

"You would have expected Newcastle to get here on the back of some of the teams that they have faced this season in this competition," he said. "Newport have always done well in cup competitions and managed to take them all the way to penalties to get through to the Quarter-Finals.

"If you look at Brentford’s run, it has been really impressive. They have beaten high-quality opposition, there is no doubt about that, and they will certainly fancy their chances again in this one."

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