Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe reluctant to label reunion with Burnley as a "must-win" game!

New Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe was reluctant to use the term "must-win" for his forthcoming reunion with Burnley.

Eddie Howe, Manager of AFC Bournemouth talks to Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Burnley FC at Vitality Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
Eddie Howe, Manager of AFC Bournemouth talks to Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Burnley FC at Vitality Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.

Steve Bruce' s successor at St James's Park, who took charge of 87 games during his time with the Clarets, understands the importance of Saturday's fixture against his former club.

But he was wary of the terminology being pinned to the crunch clash following his side's 1-1 draw at home to Norwich City.

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“The word 'must-win' is a difficult one for me to use," said Howe, who switched from AFC Bournemouth to Burnley almost a decade ago.

Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley and Eddie Howe, Manager of AFC Bournemouth shake hands prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Burnley at Vitality Stadium on May 13, 2017 in Bournemouth, England.

“Of course, we know we need to win the game, we want to win the game but we just have to concentrate on the day-to-day preparation and give everything like we did tonight [against Norwich City].

“I think there are wins in the team, I do. I believe so."

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Teemu Pukki's thunderous volley denied the Magpies a first win of the campaign on Monday evening after Callum Wilson had given the 10-man hosts the lead from the spot.

The Clarets, meanwhile, are just three points ahead of United with a superior goal difference having played a game less.

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Sean Dyche leads the head-to-head between the two bosses with seven wins over his predecessor from 12 meetings.

Howe, on the other hand, has come out on top twice with honours even on three occasions.

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“We needed to improve our defensive resilience or performance. Tonight, we did, we showed an improvement and I think there’s more improvement to come," said Howe.

“The attacking side of the team suffered tonight with the red card but I do believe we have goals in the team, so I believe we can do it.

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“I still believe it’s in our own hands but obviously with every game we don’t win, it becomes harder.”