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Newcastle’s Howe stays positive despite getting Man City for latest FA Cup road trip

NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Eddie Howe had hoped to steer clear of Manchester City in the FA Cup. It wasn’t to be.

The Newcastle manager was in his car when the quarterfinals draw this week paired his team with the juggernaut of English soccer.

“I was driving at the time, I almost swerved off the road,” Howe said Friday.

That’s one of the hazards of having to face City for the fourth time this season. They play at Etihad Stadium on March 16.

Howe addressed the draw in a news conference ahead of Newcastle’s home Premier League match against Wolverhampton on Saturday.

“It wasn’t the draw we wanted, that’s for sure,” he said. “I don’t think any team wants to play Manchester City four times in a season, but we’ll look forward to the game. I believe we can beat anybody when we’re at our best. We’ve had three really tight games against them.”

The Magpies lost both league matches to City this season but eliminated Pep Guardiola’s team from the English League Cup back in September.

City is still in contention to repeat its treble-winning campaign after capturing the league title, FA Cup and Champions League a year ago.

“I don’t want to get a violin out and start feeling sorry for myself, absolutely not,” Howe said. “The cup draw is random. You get who you get. We now have to make the best of that situation.”

Maybe not a violin, but Howe does play the piano. He was asked about it Friday.

“I enjoy playing for relaxation and helping (his children) learn,” he said. “I did try and learn ‘Take On Me,’ which is one of my favorite songs. I’m a long way off that.”

Newcastle has played all three of its FA Cup games this year away from home.


Newcastle was a surprise top-four team last year but is struggling to build on that momentum. They are in 10th place headed into the weekend.

Howe was asked about speculation linking Germany national team coach Julian Nagelsmann to his job.

“Genuinely, it doesn’t affect me. I’m here. I’m sat in the seat. My future will be defined by what I do, no one else,” Howe responded. “I know my qualities. I know what I try and bring to the job and I have ambitions for the team and the club. I can’t control what you guys write and what speculation there is in every sense. I don’t try to get involved in it.”


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