‘We weren’t clinical enough’ – Howe reflects on recent loss

‘We weren’t clinical enough’ – Howe reflects on recent loss

Eddie Howe was disappointed as Newcastle lost 2-0 to Man Utd in the EFL Cup final

Eddie Howe could not hide his disappointment after Newcastle United were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final, but the Magpies boss remains “proud” of his players.

Two first-half goals at Wembley put the game away from Newcastle, with Casemiro heading in a Luke Shaw free-kick before Sven Botman deflecting Marcus Rashford’s shot past substitute goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Newcastle were hoping to win their first trophy since the 1969 Fairs Cup but had to see as they lost to the same team and by the same scoreline as they suffered in their last major final, the 1999 FA Cup.

“Of course I’m disappointed,” Howe said at his post-match news conference. “I’m happy with the way we played. We were really good between the boxes but the penalty area is where we win and lose. We weren’t clinical enough.

“I don’t regret the way we did it. We wanted to be brave like we have been all season; [we wanted to] try at Manchester United. It was a strange game, not a lot of goalmouth action.

“I can’t blame the players but the game was decided in big moments. We didn’t defend the free kicks well enough.”

Howe was pleased with the performance of his third-choice keeper Karius, who came on with Nick Pope suspended and Martin Dubravka cup-tied.

“Karius did really well,” he said of the German, who made seven saves. “Her attitude and distribution was excellent… she could be very proud of her efforts today.”

Howe confirmed that Bruno Guimaraes, who was substituted with 12 minutes remaining, had an ankle injury, adding that he didn’t think it was serious but would await further news.

Newcastle have gone four games without a win in all competitions (D2 L2), but Howe believes his side played well and just fell short of finishing, having scored just two goals in those four games.

“I think the team played well, maybe they didn’t score like us,” he said. “It’s the toughest challenge for any team. We had a lot of moments today where we could open that up and that’s something we need to improve on.”

There was a memorable show from the Newcastle fans, who made a lot of noise and cheered for their team at Wembley.

“We feel nothing but support and love [from the fans],” Howe added. “It’s very important for the players to be able to play in a supportive environment. The view when we walked in [to the stadium] was amazing, maybe my words don’t do it justice.”

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