HomeNewcastle United: No disruption caused by Ashworth saga, says Howe

Newcastle United: No disruption caused by Ashworth saga, says Howe

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Eddie Howe has claimed it has been “business as usual” at Newcastle this week despite the ongoing uncertainty around sporting director Dan Ashworth.

Ashworth is currently on gardening leave after telling the club he wishes to join Manchester United with the clubs thought to be discussing a suitable figure for compensation.

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The issue has dominated the news agenda over the past fortnight but Howe is adamant it hasn’t affected the playing squad.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Arsenal, he said: “In terms of the day-to-day running of the club not at all. It’s happened away from the training ground. It’s been business as usual for us and a normal week. I’m just concentrating on running the team.

“The events this week have given a certainty which is what we needed as a football club. Now we can move forward and look to the future.”

Howe says he will have a say in Ashworth’s replacement but it will be left to the club’s Saudi owners to make the final decision.

He added: “I have my vision of where I want to take the team in the future and only I can access that. I won’t be involved in the decision-making process [of the next sporting director] but I’ll have discussions on the role and how I see that.

“It won’t be a definitive opinion as the club will make that but hopefully we come to the right solution and the next person will be here for a number of years to take us in the direction we want.”

Newcastle beat Arsenal 1-0 in the reverse game, a hugely controversial fixture that saw Gunners boss Mikel Arteta lash out at the referee and VAR after Anthony Gordon’s second-half goal was allowed to stand.

Asked if the return is a grudge match, Howe said: “The last game made headlines is the best of putting it with what happened with the goal and everything that happened afterwards but I don’t think we look at it that way. 

“We just analyse the opponent forensically to try to get the best result. Everything else is created outside of that and I’m sure it’s the same for Arsenal.”

Newcastle will have Fabian Schar available for the game at the Emirates while Howe will wait to see how Alexander Isak and Joe Willock react after training today.

“Alexander Isak and Joe Willock have trained this week and it’s good to see them back on the grass,” he said. 

“We’re pleased with their progress. It’s been a long time for Joe. He’s a huge player for us. It’s been great to see him back amongst the group as he’s a really popular member of the squad. Alex has trained really well.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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