Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has admitted that his side has lost momentum in their bid to finish in the top four this season.
The Saudi-backed Magpies impressed during the opening months of the Premier League season, and sat in third place in the table at the time of the break for the World Cup in Qatar.
However, a struggle to score goals since the restart and a joint league high of 11 draws has seen Newcastle struggle to maintain their place in the top form in recent weeks.
Howe’s side currently sits in fifth place in the table, four points behind fourth-place Spurs, although they do have two games in hand.
Newcastle faces a daunting trip to face defending champions Man City in Saturday’s early kick-off, but Howe is hopeful they can use their trip to the Etihad to ‘reignite’ their season.
“It’s a difficult run of games to go from Liverpool to Manchester United to Manchester City,” Howe told his pre-match press conference.
”Although we haven’t got the results we wanted the performances have been strong. Between both boxes we were very good and had a lot of very strong elements to our game.
“In the league we have stalled a little bit. We have missed a couple of games and haven’t won the games that we wanted to so we need to reignite that.
”As much as we didn’t want it to be, the cup final was a big distraction for us. We want to attack everything and finish as high as we can.”
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