Newcastle manager Eddie Howe expects a ‘big challenge’ against Brighton

NEWCASTLE manager Eddie Howe slammed Albion ahead of the game between the two sides at the Amex this afternoon.

Howe took over at St James’ Park last season and helped guide the club from danger of relegation to mid-table.

This result was a great relief for the club’s new Saudi owner, who hopes to make Newcastle one of the biggest teams in Europe.

But first they need to solidify among the best in England while being able to defeat teams like Albion who are also looking to break established Premier League molds by improving on their record result from last season.

Aware of the threat Albion poses, the Magpies boss has a good record against Graham Potter, who beat him during his spells at AFC Bournemouth and at Newcastle last season.

However, Howe still believes the Seagulls will be a “major challenge” for his side and hopes his side can counter them and continue their successful start to the season after beating newly promoted Nottingham Forest last weekend.

The manager had turned his attention to the game against Albion immediately after the game against Forest ended.

Howe told the media: “As soon as that final whistle blew my mind turned to the next game.

“Winning is great and coming so early is a huge boost for everyone but we have to back it up.

“We want to back it up. We want to be consistent in our results and our performances.

“They are [Albion] a very special team. If you play them, you face a big challenge.

“Tactically, I think they’re excellent – I think Graham [Potter] did a great job.

“It’s a big challenge for us to respond to.”

Howe has also spoken out about Dan Burn’s return to Amex Stadium. Burn left Albion to join Newcastle in January and Howe believed it was going to be a “big” day for the towering defender.

He said: “It’s going to be a big day for him to go back there. He was brilliant for us.

“It was never easy for him in the game and he had to assert himself where he is at the moment.

“He’s calm, a great presence in the dressing room and the lads really look up to him.”

Magpies defender Matt Targett also expects a tough test when he takes on Albion, despite last weekend’s comfortable win over Nottingham Forest.

The Argus: Matt TargettMatt Targett

He told NUFCTV: “We’re a difficult team now and that’s on him [Eddie Howe] and how hard we work.

“I think every time you play Brighton it’s a tough test, especially since Graham Potter came in there.

“They play incredible football and they make it really difficult, so this weekend will be a big test for us.

“But it will be nice to see where we are as a squad and as a team.

“Obviously I think Brighton are a much better football team than Nottingham Forest who are still finding their way so it’s going to be a tougher test for sure.

“But our goal is to recreate this game[the win against Forest] and being dominant on the ball and creating a lot of chances is what we want to be like, so I hope so too, but the opponents are definitely better.” Newcastle manager Eddie Howe expects a ‘big challenge’ against Brighton

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