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Howe says Arsenal victory has laid a ‘marker’ for Newcastle as he targets top 10 finish

Eddie Howe says Newcastle’s win over Arsenal has laid a ‘marker’ for what his side can achieve as the Magpies look to secure a top half finish.

Newcastle produced their most impressive performance of Howe’s reign to beat Arsenal 2-0 on Monday evening, with a Ben White own goal and a late Bruno Guimaraes strike securing three points at St James’ Park.

 

The win was the latest show of improvement since Howe’s arrival as manager and speaking ahead of the Magpies’ final fixture of the season against Burnley, the Newcastle boss insisted the challenge for his side is to now reach those levels on a consistent basis.

“I think in terms of performance that’s the highest standard we’ve reached,” Howe said at is pre-match press conference.

“That will be the marker we judge ourselves against now, knowing we’re capable of delivering that.

“We have to get close to those levels, if not surpass them, on a consistent basis.”

Newcastle travel to face a Burnley team battling against relegation this weekend, with the Clarets outside the bottom three on goal difference ahead of the final fixtures.

Howe outlined his respect for his former side, but says Newcastle will be aiming for a win as the club look to secure a top ten finish.

“I respect Burnley and know the position they’re in but we have a job to do.

“We represent Newcastle and we’re proud to do that.

“An opportunity to finish in the top ten shouldn’t be underestimated so we’ll give our all to try and achieve that.”

Howe opened up on his plans for next season and says he has ‘half an eye’ on the summer as Newcastle look to build on an impressive upturn across the second half of the campaign.

“I’ve got half an eye on the summer and preparing and planning to make that summer as cohesive as we can and try to get everything organised, but we’ve a game to play.

“I want my squad to be confident, ambitious.

“They have to believe in big things and we have to set targets internally.

“We also have to manage the expectation around the team. We don’t want them to play under an unnecessary burden and pressure.”

Read – Premier League preview: Eight talking points ahead of the weekend’s action

Read Also – Down to the wire: The eight times the Premier League title was decided on the final day

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