Eddie Howe plays down FA Cup importance as pressure mounts

Newcastle manager insists his team still have plenty to play for as he leads them into FA Cup clash against Manchester City

Eddie Howe is highly adept at showing the world a flawless poker face and it certainly came in handy as he prepared for Saturday’s potentially season-defining FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester City.

Until very recently it was tantamount to heresy for Newcastle fans to suggest their team’s manager might be incapable of walking across the river Tyne. Yet, almost imperceptibly, Howe has lost his previous immunity to criticism.

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