Friday, September 29, 2023

Eddie Howe reveals reaction to Newcastle’s Champions League group of death but admits confusion at ‘complicated’ draw

Eddie Howe revealed his excitement at Newcastle’s Champions League group but admitted it took him some time to understand the complex draw process.

The Magpies were handed a baptism of fire in their first Champions League group stage appearance since 2003.

Newcastle were handed a raw deal during the group stage draw on ThursdayAFP

Howe is excited at the prospect of managing in the Champions League for the first timeGetty

Newcastle will have to find a way to stop World Cup winner Kylian MbappeGetty

Howe’s side were drawn in Group F alongside Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and last season’s semi-finalists AC Milan in what has been labelled the ‘group of death.’

The draw has understandably whet the appetites of the Toon Army who will see their side put to the test against some of Europe’s elite but for Howe, getting to grips with the mechanics of the draw was a task in itself.

“It took me a few seconds to process it,” the Magpies boss told reporters on Friday. “The group stage can be quite complex. I didn’t realise it was that complicated.

“When the dust settles down you look at it with excitement. There’s no negativity from us internally towards the draw. It’s challenging but there’s some great European games to experience and great places to visit for our supporters. It’s a great thing.”

Despite the task at hand, Howe believes embrace rather over fear is the best method for his side who have turned around the club’s fortunes from relegation candidates to Champions League football in just 18 months.

In that time, Newcastle have gone toe-to-toe with the Premier League’s best, registering wins over Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham whilst almost toppling Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Howe added: “It doesn’t matter who we play. There has to be an attitude of no fear. No doubts. Let’s embrace everything it will bring. It will challenge us hugely so no doubts about the size of the challenge. But bring it on! That has to be how we feel.”

Newcastle focus their attention back on domestic duties with a trip to Brighton on Saturday evening.

The Magpies hope to put the disappointment of back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and Liverpool behind them and get their league campaign back on track.

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