Mon 20 May 2024, 12:30 · Ash Harrison

Report: Europa Conference League qualification could see lifeline thrown to two NUFC veterans

Report: Europa Conference League qualification could see lifeline thrown to two NUFC veterans
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Newcastle United face an anxious wait to find out if they will be partaking in European competition for the second consecutive season.

After beating Brentford 4-2 yesterday, Newcastle secured seventh spot in the Premier League which may be enough to bag them a spot in the Europa Conference League depending on the outcome of Saturday's FA Cup final.

Manchester City and Manchester United face off at Wembley on Saturday and should the Premier League champions prevail then Newcastle will get their place in Europe, but if Man United emerge victorious then they will steal a spot in Europe.

If City win and Newcastle qualify for the Conference League, The Northern Echo reports that Eddie Howe could then offer new contracts to Paul Dummett (32) and Matt Ritchie (34).

Skysports matt ritchie paul dummett newcastle 4009421
Sky Sports
Look - Wonga kits man, they've here longer than Level 7!

Eddie Howe hinted at new deals for Dummett and Ritchie

This comes after Eddie Howe dropped the hint in his post-match presser yesterday.

“The players that you’re talking about (Dummett and Ritchie) are just incredible characters. There’s a slight doubt over their futures, but we go to Australia with them.

“I think European qualification might potentially have a bearing on what happens with their futures. What I will say about Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie is that they’ve just been incredible servants to the football club. I absolutely love their characters and what they’ve given.”

We get the need for having homegrown players in the squad when competing in Europe, as well as having a squad capable of competing across four competition - something that caught us out this year, but surely we can do better than wheeling out Dummett and Ritchie?

Don't get us wrong, we love them and they have been fantastic servants for the club, but other than leadership off the pitch, what are they really offering? The idea is to have a squad you can call on to play in the extra games, how often are these two really going to play? It's a waste of squad space.

Let's hope it was just a moment of sentimentality from Howe and that it won't come to pass. It sounds harsh, I know, but we have to start moving forward and leaving some people behind.