NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Eddie Howe, the new manager of one of the world’s richest football teams, is not prepared to make any promises about saving Newcastle from relegation from the Premier League.
“I’m absolutely confident we can,” Howe said Wednesday at his presentation as coach of the Saudi-owned club from the northeast of England, “but I make no promises on that. All I can do is lead the club to the best of my abilities. I will give 100% every single day to try and bring success to Newcastle.”
Howe is back in management 18 months after leaving Bournemouth following its demotion from the Premier League.
He returns to another team embroiled in a relegation battle, with Newcastle in next-to-last place and five points from safety after 11 of 38 games.
The resources available to Howe at St. James’ Park will dwarf what he had at his disposal at tiny Bournemouth, given Newcastle has just been bought by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. But he’ll only have the January transfer window to bolster a squad that has yet to record a league win this season.
“We have had some really good conversations and I have been really impressed with their vision for the club, but to be honest I haven’t delved into it too much,” Howe said of the club’s new leadership.
“It is all about the short-term and the position of the team. Obviously we need to try and address that very quickly and move up the league and avoid relegation.”
Howe, who replaced the fired Steve Bruce, distanced himself from reports that Newcastle was set to bring in Michael Edwards, who will leave his position as Liverpool’s sporting director at the end of the season and is regarded as an important figure behind Liverpool’s success in recent years. Howe worked with Edwards when both were at Portsmouth.
“As far as I know, absolutely not — I know nothing about Michael Edwards’ future,” Howe said. “He’s someone I hugely respect in the game and what he’s done for Liverpool, but my main focus since coming to Newcastle has been on the players who are currently in the team, not focused on January or other outside influences.”
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