Wed 17 Apr 2024, 18:59 · Ash Harrison

'Tough to handle': Eddie Howe shines a light on what he feels have been the biggest challenges this season

'Tough to handle': Eddie Howe shines a light on what he feels have been the biggest challenges this season
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If we're talking about the challenges Newcastle United have faced this season, where do we start? The Sandro Tonali 10-month ban? The never-ending injury list? The relentless fixtures?

This was the question posed to Eddie Howe in a recent interview with Australian broadcaster Optus Sport.

Newcastle's season has been far from straightforward. Having returned to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, it didn't take long for the club to rediscover the toll that those extra fixtures and the extra travel can take on the squad.

The Magpies started picking up injuries left and right but had to keep on fighting through the congested fixture list with a lack of first-team options and players playing well below their best.


Howe admits that the club didn't handle the Champions League well enough

It's no surprise then, when asked about his biggest challenges this season, that's what Eddie Howe started to focus on.

"I think the challenges are sort of mixed together. The extra games we had for Europe and the Champions League, the high profile nature of those games were, and I think we knew going into the season, tough to handle those games, then to come back to the Premier League. I just think the extra burden of those games on our squad we didn't handle well enough.

"We then got injuries, then from that point, our season has become quite difficult. But a good challenge for us to actually adapt and overcome and if we continue to have good form between now and the end of the season it could be still classified as a very good season. So I think we have learned a lot this year."

Newcastle have to learn from this season's mistakes

Eddie then goes on to say that his target for the rest of the season is just to see his side build on the good form they're showing now and that the rest will take care of itself.

Obviously, fans have their eye on Europe, but we all know that Howe won't be drawn on publicly saying outright that's what his goals are, although we know that's what he'll be thinking.

It does sound like lessons have been learned this season, now it's just a case of implementing those lessons so that they don't happen again. We can't face another season like this one with injury after injury, it has been a nightmare.