Champions League was only a dream for Newcastle–Howe

Champions League football was not even on the agenda for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United at the start of the season.

But, after securing a top-four finish by drawing with Leicester on Monday night, next season the Magpies will be in Europe’s premier competition for the first time since 2003.

When Howe took the helm on 8 November 2021 Newcastle were 19th in the Premier League table.

“[Our expectation this term] certainly wasn’t top four,” Howe told Sky Sports after his side’s draw with Leicester.

“I think you always hope, you always believe and you have to dream.

“But we didn’t feel that we were ready for that. After last season’s battle with relegation it was whether we could consolidate and become a better team.

“To not have that flirtation with relegation and try to give it a go, it’s just been incredible.”

“If you told us two years ago this was going to happen, we wouldn’t have believed you,” Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff told Sky Sports.

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