Eddie Howe says Newcastle will ”have to do it the hard way’ to reach the Champions League knockout rounds after losing 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund at St James’ Park.
Newcastle’s unbeaten start to the group stage came to an end as Dortmund claimed a narrow win in the north east, with Felix Nmecha’s brilliant finish on the stroke of half-time enough to earn the visitors all three points.
Anthony Gordon and Callum Wilson came closest for Newcastle, but the Magpies could not find a route past Gregor Kobel in the Dortmund goal. Defeat sees Newcastle drop from first to third in a competitive Group F, with Paris Saint-Germain and Dortmund moving above Howe’s side.
The Newcastle manager believes his side were unfortunate to end up on the losing side and says qualification for the next stage will have to be achieved the ‘hard way’, with trips to both PSG and Dortmund still to come.
“Tactically they were good and gave us problems in central areas. In the second half we were a lot better and unfortunately the ball would not go in,” Howe told TNT Sports.
“The intention was there but we’re up against elite teams. You make half a mistake and get punished.
“We grew into the game in the second half with the chances we created and the woodwork denied us. Now we have to do it the hard way in the group.
“It is going to be difficult but we are in the Champions League. Nothing comes easy. You know you’re going to have to win in some tough places. Now we need to dust ourselves down and be ready for next week.
“We need to sit down and analyse the game. When you play a team so quickly again we need to work out how we adjust and see if we can go there and get a result.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose today.”