EDDIE HOWE has revealed he will not be able to spend his way out of Newcastle’s mid-season slump.

The Magpies, whose Saudi-backed owners have invested around £400m in the four transfer windows since they took control, head to Premier League leaders Liverpool on New Year’s Day having lost six of their last seven games in all competitions.

That has prompted murmurings on Tyneside – although significantly not within the corridors at St James’ Park – for the first time in Howe’s reign, but the 46-year-old admits he has not been told to expect a further cash injection in January.

Asked if he had been given assurances over further transfer window funds, he said: “No, we haven’t had those assurances.

“I think it’s a difficult month, as we always say when January comes around. I apologise if I sound like I’m saying the same things, but it is a very difficult month to bring in quality players.

“Financial Fair Play continues to play a part in our decision-making, so let’s wait and see.”


Sources on Tyneside have suggested the loan market may be a more likely option for the club next month with Manchester City’s England midfielder Kalvin Phillips a target, although such a move would command a significant loan fee.

Howe’s hands have been tied in part by a lengthy injury list which has compounded the loss of £55m summer signing Sandro Tonali to a ten-month ban for betting breaches, although with the likes of Harvey Barnes, Joe Willock, Jacob Murphy and Elliot Anderson working their way back to fitness, his squad could look significantly stronger within a matter of weeks.

However, the recent deterioration in his team’s form has seen the club slip out of both Europe and the Carabao Cup, and they will embark upon the latest round of fixtures sitting ninth in the league table, eight points behind the fourth place in which they finished last season.

For the first time, the focus has fallen on head coach Howe and his methods, although he has taken the criticism in his stride.

He said: “I don’t look at it like I’m in the spotlight now. I’m always in the spotlight and criticism is part of this job. It goes hand in hand with it.

“You say I haven’t been criticised, but it just goes with the territory. I’ve learned to accept and understand that and – no disrespect – but to blank it out and make sure I help the players. That hasn’t changed for me.”