Eddie Howe has spoken of how Newcastle’s late defeat to Liverpool last month ‘really hurt’ his team and had a knock-on effect in their subsequent game.
The Magpies began the season in buoyant mood after their top-four finish last term, starting the campaign with a 5-1 thrashing of Aston Villa, but their loss to the Reds was sandwiched by defeats at Manchester City and Brighton, leaving them with just three points from their first four games.
They’ve bounced back since the international break with two wins in the Premier League, the latest of which was an 8-0 drubbing of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, a result the 45-year-old felt was a statement response from his side after their slow start to 2023/24.
As per Liverpool Echo, Howe said: “The Liverpool game really hurt us, which I think in part played into the Brighton performance – which was disappointing. But what a response from the players in the last week; three big wins, three massive clean sheets.”
While Liverpool’s 3-0 thrashing of Aston Villa was our best performance of the season so far, the highlight for many Reds would’ve been the dramatic late double from Darwin Nunez to salvage victory at St James’ Park.
That’s not meant as a slight at Newcastle – if anything, it ought to be taken as a compliment that we were so ecstatic at coming from behind with 10 men to win away to a team who had finished ahead of us last term.
It felt like than just three points on the board at the time and would’ve been a sucker punch for the Magpies, especially considering Howe’s admission that the pain of that result appeared to seep into their comprehensive defeat at Brighton the following week.
They certainly won’t be lacking for motivation to get one over on us when they come to Anfield at the end of December, but Liverpool’s home record is imperious, and Klopp’s team won’t be in the mood to grant any early New Year cheer to the Tynesiders, especially if the two sides are neck-and-neck in the table at that stage.