Eddie Howe hails Newcastle’s resilience after victory at Fulham

By Sports Desk January 27, 2024

Eddie Howe praised the resilience of his Newcastle side after their 2-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage saw them progress to the FA Cup fifth round for just the second time in 18 years.

Only once since 2006 have the Magpies reached the competition’s last-16, when the side managed by Steve Bruce fell at the quarter-final stage against Manchester City.

Howe emphasised the importance of the club’s last shot at winning a trophy this campaign after they despatched Marco Silva’s team in west London.

“It was a big result for us,” he said. “We knew we wanted to progress. It’s our last chance at silverware this season so I think the expectation from us internally was that we had to give it everything to try and get through.

“I didn’t think it was the most fluent performance we’ve ever delivered but we got the major things right which were resilience, really good character and attitude. We improved in the game, we got better in the second half.

“It’s a competition that we want to do well in. Hopefully there’s more to come.”

Newcastle took the lead six minutes before half-time and Fulham had themselves to blame.

A free-kick hoisted over from the right was dealt with indecisively by the home side’s defence, as two players got in each other’s way in a doomed attempt to clear. From there, the ball dropped to Sean Longstaff, who with a confident swing of his left foot fired Howe’s side in front.

VAR was called upon to adjudicate on a possible handball against Bruno Guimaraes as the ball pinged loosed inside the box, but the goal was deemed legitimate and Newcastle led.

Earlier, Rodrigo Muniz had had Fulham’s best chance of the half, striking low towards Martin Dubravka’s bottom corner and drawing a superb stop from the goalkeeper, who clawed it away at full stretch.

Newcastle doubled their lead on the hour mark, Sven Botman rising to thump a powerful header at goal from Kieran Trippier’s corner. Marek Rodak beat it away with two firm hands but could not get it clear of danger and Dan Burn tapped home.

The result brought welcome respite to what has been a torrid patch of away form for Newcastle, after five consecutive league defeats on the road.

“It’s strange because you look at us in the cups and we’ve been OK (away),” said Howe. “We just haven’t carried it across to the Premier League form, which has been a huge frustration. But I don’t see any reason why we can’t start winning away from home.

“We prided ourselves last year on being hard to score against. We’ve got the players to score at the other end. It’s been missing this year, but hopefully that will return quickly.”

Fulham boss Silva reflected on a a second cup exit in a week following Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final loss to Liverpool.

“That is football sometimes,” he said. “You play well but the key moments were not clear for us and that is our fault. The chances that we did create, with the amount that we created, we should have been more ruthless.

“We arrived so many times in dangerous areas that we have to better decide the last action, the pass or the finish. We have to be stronger in those situations, on the set pieces and with our finishing.”

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