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Howe slams Newcastle defending after conceding three at Manchester United

The Newcastle head coach was not happy with the standard of defending from his side at Old Trafford.

Eddie Howe

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe admits his side’s poor defending was the reason for the 3-2 loss at Manchester United in the Premier League.

The Magpies played out a thriller against their European rivals at Old Trafford but fell short on the night, meaning they now must win on Sunday to guarantee a spot in the Europa Conference League.

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There were always going to be goals in the match, with both sides keen on deploying an attacking style of play.

United’s fragile defence was tested throughout the night, but it was actually the Magpies who struggled to keep the ball out of the net.

Goals from Kobbie Mainoo, Amad Diallo and Rasmus Hojlund were enough to cancel out Anthony Gordon’s and Lewis Hall’s strikes and Howe was left annoyed in his post-match interview.

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What he said

Speaking to BBC Sport, the manager said: “Frustrating for us. Away from home this year our record hasn’t been good enough.

“Familiar scene for us. We conceded poor goals and ultimately that has cost us the game.

“It was a decent performance. We looked a good team but were let down by some of our defending.

“Attacking-wise we were good and had a threat all game. We took our goals well. Frustrated we didn’t get more.

“There’s a chance and while there’s a chance we’ll give it everything we can.

“Anthony Gordon has been excellent for us. He took his goal well. He should have had a penalty as well.”

European dreams

A win at Old Trafford would have extended the gap over the Red Devils to six points and guaranteed Newcastle could finish no lower than seventh.

But now they must get the job done on the final day and they have the advantage over Erik ten Hag’s side due to their superior goal difference.

They could still finish above Chelsea but require the Blues to lose to Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.

Howe admits Wednesday night’s game was an opportunity to grab Europe and they must improve if they are to win against Brentford on Sunday.

He added: “In this moment we are disappointed to not win today. It was an opportunity to grab Europe instead of looking around at other results.

“When you look back through the goals we have conceded today there are multiple errors in all three goals.

“I don’t think Man Utd hurt us a great deal but we conceded three goals.

“We looked good going forward, we did create chances but didn’t get enough bodies in the key chances, but we scored two goals and it should be enough to get something from the game.

“You feel momentum is with us and there is a much better feel with us in the second half. Then a second goal from a set-play. It is a combination of errors and we know we have to do better.”

Picture of Mitch Fretton

Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.