EDDIE Howe has thanked Newcastle's owners for their support during a testing season - which he now hopes to finish in style after setting his players the target of winning all of their remaining games.

After the highs of last season's fourth-place finish, the Magpies have endured something of a turbulent campaign this time around.

Howe has had to deal with an unprecedented injury crisis, while also forced to pick his team up after several setbacks. They finished bottom of their group in the Champions League, spurned a good opportunity in the Carabao Cup, were knocked out of the FA Cup with a whimper by Manchester City and slipped to mid-table in the Premier League.

But Howe never felt anything other than complete support from the club's ownership and has praised his bosses for their backing after a stirring run of form that has put the Magpies in pole position to secure European football for next season.

"I always say the most important thing for me is not during the good times but the difficult moments which will inevitable be there," he said after Saturday's hugely impressive 4-0 win over Tottenham.

"There will always be negative and difficult moments and it’s the support you get then that is the defining factor. You need stability, calmness, level heads and allowed to focus on your work. The people behind the scenes have done all of that for me."


Howe must wonder how this season would have turned out if he hadn't been forced to deal with so many injuries, but he insists he's only looking forward, not back.

He says: "I don’t live with regret. Of course you look at things and think they could have been different but you have to deal with the realities and face them head on. That’s what we’ve tried to do and it’s always about the future.

"I always prefer to look at what we have on the pitch rather than what we don't have because if you focus on what you don't have, you're going to be quite sad very quickly because we're missing some outstanding players."

It's a big ask but Newcastle could yet finish on 68 points if they win their remaining six games, which would make it eight straight victories in total after their Fulham and Spurs successes and would mean they'd finish just three points short of last season's total.

“We've got a long way to go to get there," said Howe.

"Six games to go and we'll give our best to try to win every one."