- Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is in the dark over new signings in January window
- He said there were ‘no assurances’ with the club restricted by Financial Fair Play
- CHRIS SUTTON: Come on Woody! Let the shackles off, you must celebrate a Premier League hat-trick – It’s All Kicking Off
Eddie Howe admits to having no assurances from Newcastle’s hierarchy that there will be money to spend in January.
His team have lost six of their last seven matches, exiting the Champions League and Carabao Cup and slipping to ninth in the Premier League. They are also dealing with a list of absentees that runs into double figures and Howe would like reinforcements in the new year.
Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips is a loan target, although sources said earlier this month that the £7million fee was prohibitive. However, there is hope that figure could be reduced once the transfer window opens.
The loss of goalkeeper Nick Pope has been particularly damaging and while free agent David de Gea is under consideration, there are concerns about the Spaniard, who has been without a club for six months.
Financial Fair Play also remains an issue for the Magpies, especially after missing out on the extra revenue from making the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe admits he is in the dark over the club’s January transfer budget
He said he had been given ‘no assurances’ from the club’s owners that there will be money to spend next month
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When asked if the club’s Saudi Arabian owners had given him assurances over a January budget, Howe said: ‘No. It’s a very difficult month to bring in quality players. Financial Fair Play continues to play a part in our decision-making, so let’s wait and see.
‘FFP is something that I’m still coming to terms with, to understand myself. There are so many parts to it that are always moving. FFP is very active in our thoughts, we’re trying to navigate it and work around it.’
There was always an acceptance among club chiefs that this season would be more difficult than last for Newcastle, as Howe added: ‘Last season was tough but this season is tough in a different way. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and you can’t achieve what you want to.
‘We’ve had a few knocks, this month in particular has been difficult to take. Things have just gone against us — I’m talking Europe and the Carabao Cup. We looked like we were so close to getting there and going through.
Howe said he had a feeling his side would face a tough season after famously qualifying for the Champions League last term
‘The players have had to take a few knocks and blows but that isn’t anything new, that’s this game, it’s full of these moments. It’s your ability to bounce back and show you are strong enough and resilient enough to take those knocks and go again.
‘That’s where we are now. Let the dust settle, we’ve got no time to wait, this month is a big one for us.’
How is Howe handling the increased scrutiny?
‘I don’t look at it like I’m in the spotlight now,’ he said. ‘I’m always in the spotlight and criticism is part of this job. It goes hand in hand with it.
‘I’ve learned to accept and understand that and, no disrespect, but to blank it out and make sure I help the players. That hasn’t changed for me.’