EDDIE HOWE has admitted that Newcastle United will almost certainly have to take something from their next two away matches if they are to make it through to the Champions League knockout rounds.

Last night’s 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund has left the Magpies sitting in third position in Group F, level on points with Dortmund and two points adrift of pool leaders Paris St Germain.

Newcastle head to Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park in a fortnight’s time before travelling to the Parc des Princes to take on Paris St Germain at the end of the month.


They then complete their group schedule with a home game against AC Milan, but Howe accepts their fate could already be sealed by that stage if they are unable to pick up something on their travels.

“It was always going to be tight,” said the Magpies boss. “There are top-quality teams in the group, and the defeat to Dortmund is a blow to us, especially at home. But we have to take it.

“We now have two really tough away games, and it’s important that we try to get something from those games. We’re up against top-quality teams, and we’ve probably had a lesson on how fine the margins are going to be.

“Nothing is lost in the group. We’re still in there, and we’re still fighting, but we’ve got some tough games ahead.

“The next two away games are probably going to be pivotal. The league table looks very, very tight, so the next two games will be massive. They’re great games for us, and we have to approach them like that.

“We’ll go to Dortmund and I’m sure it’ll be a brilliant atmosphere, but just as Dortmund did well against us at our ground, we have to do equally as well at their place.”

Having brushed aside Paris St Germain in their previous Champions League home game, Newcastle received a harsh lesson in the reality of life at the highest level as they lost to Dortmund.

The Magpies came close to salvaging an equaliser late on, with Callum Wilson and Anthony Gordon both hitting the crossbar, but were ultimately punished for their inability to contain a slick Dortmund attacking move on the stroke of half-time.

“It is the elite, the highest level, so any small mistake you make is liable to get punished,” said Howe. “We made one just on half-time when we were very close to breaking away ourselves, and then seconds later, we’ve conceded.

“That’s a great example of the quality of the Champions League, and there’s stuff we could have done better in the game. I think when we analyse it in the cold light of day, we’ll take a lot from the game, but we’re obviously disappointed with the result.

“I think it just shows that we have to be at our best to win at this level. If you dip below that, then it’s very tough to get results at this level.”