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"We have a job to do" - Howe targeting final day flourish

Written by Luke Vinton

With a top-ten finish still in grasp, Eddie Howe is determined for Newcastle United to end their 2021/22 Premier League campaign on a high ahead of Sunday's trip to Burnley (kick-off 4pm BST).

The Magpies travel to Turf Moor, aiming for a fourth successive league win over the Clarets, who will bid to match Leeds United's result against Brentford to maintain their English top-flight status.

Howe revealed he will make late calls on Chris Wood, who missed Monday night's victory against Arsenal, as well as defender Fabian Schär - who suffered a concussion injury against the Gunners - and Ryan Fraser.

Speaking of Wood's availability to face his former club, Howe said: "We're going to try him today in training, see how he looks and, as we said at the time, I don't think it's a serious injury so fingers crossed he comes through training.

"We haven't seen Fabian. We are following concussion protocols. He may be doing something outside today but we're following the protocols closely so that'll be a late decision.

"Ryan Fraser might be out of the game. He came on (against Arsenal) and had a slight awareness in his hamstring again."

Currently situated on 46 points, United can equal their highest Premier League points tally since the 2013/14 should they defeat Michael Jackson's side, with Howe hinting he could deploy a strong team for their venture to Lancashire.

"We'll pick our strongest team and try to win the game," the 44-year-old added. "There's no let up from our perspective and we are determined to end the season on a high.

"Tactically, we will try and get it right. We know Burnley is a very difficult game - a totally different challenge because of what is at stake. We know, from previous experience, we need to be mentally right because it could be a tough day for us if we're not.

"We've gone into some games and the majority of them this season have been us fighting for points, determined to lift ourselves out of a very difficult situation. We know what the atmosphere has been like at St. James' and what it has created for the opposition. 

"My mind flicks back to the Everton game where I don't think we handled the game particularly well where the crowd were absolutely united in their purpose to alleviate their team out of relegation trouble. 

"We've had that experience and I think we need to tap back into that and make sure we learn our lessons from that game."

Despite failing to win in their opening 14 Premier League matches, Newcastle sit two points adrift of a top-half finish and Howe, who managed Burnley between January 2011 and October 2012, has his sights set on accomplishing the feat, many of which had believed unlikely following his managerial appointment in November.   

"I respect our opposition and Burnley as a football club," he said. "I know the position they're in but we have a job to do. We represent Newcastle and we are proud to do that. We have to do our best.

"It's an opportunity to finish in the top ten and it should be not underestimated. We will give our all to try and achieve that." 


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Eddie Howe's pre-Burnley media briefing in full

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