NEWCASTLE UNITED’S new owners headed to the St James’ Park dressing rooms after watching their side humiliated in the FA Cup third round – but Eddie Howe insists it was not to read the riot act.

Magpies chairman Yasir al-Rumayyan was sitting in the directors’ box at St James’ Park alongside fellow directors Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi as Newcastle crashed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of League One Cambridge United.

The trio watched Joe Ironside’s second-half goal condemn Newcastle to a humiliating FA Cup exit, and could be seen after the final whistle heading towards the dressing-room area at St James’.

They now know the extent of the overhaul that is required if the Magpies are to remain in the Premier League in the second half of the season, but while Howe revealed they spoke to Newcastle’s players in the wake of today’s defeat, he insists they remain supportive of his and the squad’s efforts.

Howe said: “Yes, they did pop in to see the players. I personally wasn't in there – they saw me with my coaching team after.

“I believe they were very supportive to the players, highlighting the fact that they are in this fight to stay in the league together and they're very much behind everybody, and I can't thank them enough for that support.

“It was really beneficial for the players to see that and feel that because this journey that we're going on currently and the fight we're in to stay in the division is a united effort from everybody in the club.

“The supporters are playing their part, no doubt – they've been magnificent – and the owners wanted to show their support for the players, and it was really welcome for me.”