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Southampton v Newcastle: Carabao Cup semi-final not enough, says Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe’s Newcastle won 4-1 in the Premier League on their last visit to St Mary’s in November

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe says reaching a semi-final is “not enough” as his side prepare to face Southampton for a place in the Carabao Cup final.

The Magpies have not won a major domestic trophy since 1955 but Howe says his side are “desperate for the next step”.

Newcastle travel to St Mary’s for the first leg on Tuesday.

“We’re delighted to be where we are but the semi-final itself isn’t enough,” Howe said at Monday’s news conference.

“Ultimately, you want to get one step further. I know the players feel the same way.

“Me and my coaching team feel passionately about it that we want to make the final, but we have to navigate these two games and they’re going to be very difficult.

“I think the away game will be a really good spectacle for the fans that travel and it’s on television so everyone will have a chance to watch the game.

“We’re desperate for the next step but we have to take our mind off that really and focus on the process and the job, and the job is to go to Southampton and perform.”

Newcastle are in fine form after beating Leicester City to progress to the last four, while their recent draw at Crystal Palace extended their Premier League unbeaten run to 15 games.

Meanwhile, Southampton are bottom of the top flight and struggling to gain momentum, despite going well in the cup competitions after reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup and beating Manchester City in the EFL Cup quarter-final.

Saints manager Nathan Jones says he wants to emulate Howe’s success with the Magpies after taking over from Ralph Hasenhuttl on the south coast in November.

“I’ve lots of admiration for Eddie as a human being, and as a coach and manager,” said Jones.

“He is proving he can build something, he can take setbacks and then he can go to a Premier League club and do well.

“Our careers have lots of parallels and I have spoken to him a few times. If I can get anywhere near him, I will be delighted.

“That’s what I have to do here. That’s what I’ve been brought in to do, to develop players to be better than what others thought they could be or the levels they were playing at previously. That’s what coaching is, that’s what man management is.

“We’ve got players who have bought into everything. I’ve got to make sure I give them a structure and keep on to them so they keep sticking to the game plan, sticking to the structure so they improve individually and we improve as a team.”

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