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Howe aiming to build a team to be proud of

New head coach Eddie Howe says he is hoping to produce a Newcastle United side the city can be proud of as he prepares for his first game in the dugout on Saturday.

The Magpies welcome Brentford to St. James' Park (3pm kick-off) as Howe takes charge of United for the first time since his appointment earlier this month.

The former Bournemouth boss says he is aiming to mould an attacking team and, in time, provide Newcastle’s fans with a side they will enjoy watching.

"I'd like to think you'll see a Newcastle team playing in the way that I want them to, and a way befitting of what the Newcastle supports want to see as well," he said.

"I'm going to try and deliver that as best I can. How quickly we can get there, well, we'll see – but I'd like to think you'll see a team that is playing for the shirt, the supporters and the badge, and doing the team and the city proud."

Howe's immediate task, though, is to lift United out of the bottom three, with a first victory of the campaign still eluding them.

The 43-year-old got straight to work at the club's Benton training base, and believes his charges have been receptive to the ideas Howe and the new-look backroom staff have been trying to get across since their arrival.

"It has been intense – not every day – and we haven't, I believe, overworked the players in any way," he said. "I think in the days that we have worked, we've covered a lot. We've tried to implement our philosophy in a steady way – we don't want to overload the players too much.

"But we definitely want to shape the team in the way that we want going forward, and I've been very impressed with the players' response and their attitude."

He added: "It's a huge challenge that we face. I'm under no illusions about our current situation and what we need to do. Tomorrow is a massive day for everybody connected with the football club. The supporters have shown how important it is – it's a sell-out – and I'm sure the atmosphere will be a brilliant thing for me and my players to experience.

"I thank the supporters for everything they've done for me, for how welcome they've made us feel, me and my staff, and I just urge them to really try and help the team get a win tomorrow."

The Magpies face a Brentford side who have enjoyed a promising start to their first season in the Premier League, winning three and drawing three of their opening 11 games.

And Howe reserved praise for his opposite number Thomas Frank, who finally led the Bees to promotion from the Championship last term after a number of near misses.

"I think they've come in with that momentum from the Championship, and the bravery and confidence that winning gives you," he said.

"I think Thomas has done an amazing job and the biggest compliment I can give him is that when you go so close to promotion a number of times, to then come back the next season and get the team going again and believing again is incredibly difficult.

"He managed to do it, and then get over the line eventually, which I thought was a great achievement. They've come into the Premier League in the same manner, so full credit to them and the club."

Howe also revealed he has no fresh injury concerns ahead of his debut in the United dugout, with defender Paul Dummett the only remaining absentee.

Paraguayan forward Miguel Almirón is returning to Tyneside after featuring for his country in the last week, with goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka – who made his first competitive appearance of the season for Slovakia on Tuesday – also pushing for a place after returning from international duty.

"All the boys bar Almirón I've seen – I haven't seen Miguel yet, so I look forward to seeing him hopefully today," added Howe.

"Dúbravka played in midweek. Is he 100 per cent fit? That remains to be seen. It was his first game in a long, long time, so I've got a tough call to make there. We've got Paul Dummett out injured, but everyone else, touch wood, should come through OK."


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Eddie Howe's pre-Brentford media briefing in full

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