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Howe says spending curbs would hurt Newcastle plans

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe. Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP

Eddie Howe says further limits on spending would inhibit Newcastle’s blueprint for success following a call from Liverpool owner John W Henry for tougher restrictions on clubs.

Henry, initially a supporter of the collapsed European Super League, this week voiced his support for extra curbs on Premier League clubs to preserve healthy competition.

But Magpies manager Howe, who has spent heavily since taking over at St James’ Park in November 2021, said he would not welcome fresh limits on top of existing regulations.

“I wouldn’t want to see any more restrictions on spending,” he said on Friday. 

“We have spent money, don’t get me wrong, but future restrictions would certainly deny our ability to improve as quickly as we want to.”

Newcastle’s sizeable investment since a Saudi-led takeover in 2021 has enabled them to mount a challenge to finish in the top four of the English top flight this season.

They are currently sixth in the table, four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with two games in hand despite a poor recent run.

Howe’s team also reached last month’s League Cup final, which they lost to Manchester United.

Newcastle, who host Wolves on Sunday, have won just one of their past eight league games and scored only three goals in the process.

“There’s a belief that we can win again and we need, very quickly, to fulfil that aim,” Howe said.

“I’ve never sat here and talked us up in terms of targets, top four. But I have talked us up in terms of what I believe we can achieve and the quality we have in our group and I’m not going to change now.”

Newcastle’s recent lack of goals has increased the clamour for record-signing Alexander Isak to start in place of England international Callum Wilson, who has scored only once in his past 14 appearances for the club.

But Howe issued a note of caution over a player who has missed a significant chunk of the season with a thigh injury.

He said: “He wants to play, like every player. I feel he is there, but is he 100 percent ready to play 90 minutes on a consistent basis? Probably not. I have been delighted by his attitude. I think he’s in a good place.”

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