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Howe ready for Euro challenge as Newcastle eye Champions League

Eddie Howe says Newcastle will need more quality and depth in their squad next season if they are to cope with the demands of a potential Champions League campaign.

Howe’s side are guaranteed to at least reach the Europa League after thrashing Brighton 4-1 on Thursday.

But the third placed Magpies have a lucrative Champions League berth within their grasp.

They will be certain of qualifying if they win one of their last two games against Leicester on Monday or Chelsea on May 28.

Newcastle boss Howe has spent over £250 million ($310 million) to revitalise his squad since taking charge in 2021 and he knows further investment in new signings will be required to compete in the Premier League and Europe next term.

“We need to figure that out. If you have a strong squad, rotation will be important. Rotation is going to be important, utilising the whole squad is going to be important,” he told reporters on Friday.

“We haven’t felt the necessity to necessarily do that on a consistent basis because we’ve been in one competition – of course, we had the League Cup run. We have rotated to a degree, but maybe not in the numbers that we might need next year.

“If you’re going to do that, then the squad needs to be strong enough, so if you put out two XIs, they’re of equal strength.”

The strength of Howe’s current squad could be put to the test on Monday evening with his midfield resources stretched severely in the aftermath of an energy-sapping clash with the Seagulls.

Joe Willock was helped from the pitch in some discomfort with a hamstring injury which the Magpies fear will end his season with two games to go, while Bruno Guimaraes has been nursing a persistent ankle problem in recent months.

“Today I’ll be going straight to the physio room, to be honest, after this to see how everybody is. We’ve got a few concerns,” Howe said.

“The lads gave so much yesterday to the game, they’ve given a lot to the season physically and I just hope there’s no serious effects.”

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