Howe: ‘Positives to take’ from Newcastle’s defeat to Liverpool but ‘we must do much better’

Dan Butterfield
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has insisted there are positive to take from their defeat to Liverpool but admitted his side must do better in the future.

Naby Keita’s well worked first-half strike was the difference between the two sides as Liverpool moved back top of the Premier League table.

50 stats to separate Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League title race

Newcastle had started the game on the front foot but struggled to create any meaningful chances and once Jurgen Klopp’s side had taken the lead, they struggled.

Liverpool dominated the game and could have had more if it wasn’t for some smart saves from Toon keeper Martin Dubravka.

The defeat ended a good run for Howe’s side which had seen them steer clear of the relegation zone and despite admitting there were some positives to take, the Newcastle boss told his side they must improve next time out.

Howe said: “I think Liverpool were probably not at their best but we weren’t either and when you play these games you have to be. We competed well but lacked the quality that could have got us a goal.

“It is difficult to it consistently against Liverpool as they have the quality to produce a counter-attack out of nothing. We were much more aggressive in the second half but did not have any concerted pressure in the game.

“We were not at our best today but we were still in the game right to the end, so there are positives to take. But we set our standards very high and next week we have to do much better.

“I don’t think we quite got going. I thought we made a bright start to the game but we’re slightly disappointed with our own performance.

“Individually I don’t think we hit our top levels, which meant collectively we didn’t quite hit the levels we have recently. We probably didn’t quite have that sustained pressure we were looking for. The second half was better without that big chance ever really coming.

“There were one or two bright sparks, but it’s slightly disappointing compared to our previous levels. I’ve seen progress from where we have been, but on the other side there’s a lot of work to do. We’re probably where we were before the game.”

On the decision to drop Chris Wood to the bench, Howe added: “We view every game independently. We needed to be strong down the sides against Liverpool’s wide players.

“Chris has been fantastic but it was an opportunity to look at something else.”