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Carabao Cup

Eddie Howe: Every word of Newcastle United boss' press conference

26 February 2023

Every word of Newcastle boss Eddie Howe’s press conference after his side were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United in the Carabao Cup Final.

“Naturally disappointed, pleased with how we played. I thought we were really good between both boxes.

“But in the boxes is where games are won and lost and today we didn’t get the big moments right defensively and with the chances we did have we weren’t clinical enough and probably didn’t create enough for the ball we had around the box.

“As I sit here now I’ve got no regrets, how we tried to set the team up, our intent – we wanted to be really brave and try and have a right go at Manchester United. I thought we were really competitive, I can’t fault the players’ efforts, but it’s decided in big moments. The free-kick we’ve not defended well enough.”

‘Karius can be proud’

“I think Loris Karius did really well. His all-round demeanour was good, his distribution was good, he made some great saves, especially when we’re chasing the game – it’s always going to happen. He can be proud today.

“It leaves with us with a feeling of defeat in the Final which is never nice. But already for me, you look to the future and you’re desperate to get back here and win a trophy and see the supporters who have been absolutely incredible for us, to see them disappointed at the end hurts badly. The motivation and the thoughts are already going to how we can come back here and win a trophy that we deserve.

“I think these players have responded every time they’ve been questioned this season. I’m proud of the players today, that’s my emotion.

“Callum Wilson played well against West Ham, that swayed my decision [to play him instead of Alexander Isak].”

‘The work starts again’

“I think the team is playing well but we’re not maybe as freescoring as we were. That’s the challenge for us. We had a lot of set-plays or moments where we could’ve opened them up. But it’s difficult for me to find too much to criticise right now without analysing the game.

“Nothing is guaranteed in football, you have to earn the right to get to the latter stages of these competitions. You have to earn the right to finish where you want to finish in the league. The work starts again. I hope the improvement will continue.”

Guimaraes injury

“Bruno Guimaraes twisted his ankle. He’s in a bit of pain, I don’t think it’s serious at the moment. Sean Longstaff was just a tactical switch.”

‘A big thank you from me to them’

“Before the game was an incredible sight to see the black and white. The support they’ve given us was truly incredible and I’m just disappointed we weren’t able to win today’s match.

“A big thank you from me to them.

'We have to improve'

“We have to improve, we can’t stand sill, we can’t think we’re something. Next year in these competitions we have to go again with the intention of wanting to win.

“It’s a massive change from last year when we took over. This is a situation I’d much rather be. It’s a very positive position and when the dust settles I think we’ll look back on this positively although it’s hard to see now.

'Exceptional support'

“We’ve had nothing but support and love. It’s so important they play in an environment they can express themselves.

“It was exceptional support. My words don’t do it justice.

'We're not the finished article'

“Knowing our best team is never a static thing, you never want it to be either.

“We were fighting relegation last year. This season was an unknown for us, could we continue our momentum? There’s no guarantee.

“The players have done exceptionally well to elevate ourselves to an incredible position, but we’re not the finished article by any means. It only gets harder because the competition improves as well.

“I always think when you lose you can take positives from it. Many times I’ve done that and you try to find solutions to problems. I don’t think my fire or passion needs to be any bigger, I’m determined to be successful. But certainly you can learn a lot and I’ll encourage myself to do that over the next few days.

'I'm optimisticin difficult moments'

“You feel like you’ve failed to achieve what you wanted to do. I don’t think there’s any other way to feel. But you can take positives from defeat. I’m a very optimistic person in difficult moments.

“I’m sure the younger players will take all those experiences and it will do them good. All you can do is try and improve from it. We’re always analysing where we can improve. What we need to do is push the team on.”

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