Eddie Howe hits back after Ten Hag’s dig and says Newcastle’s success is not based on money as he spoke in his press conference.

According to the Magpies boss, the ‘game management stuff’ ‘massively overblown’ after the Manchester United manager claimed that Newcastle United are a team who annoys you.

Ten Hag said that Newcastle were a great team prior to last month’s Carabao Cup final at Wembley with Man Utd winning the match 2-0. But he then suggested that they were annoying and ‘trying to annoy’ you. The Dutchman seemed to be referring specifically to Newcastle’s matches this season.

Referring to a statistic that showed the average time the ball was in play in Newcastle’s Premier League matches this season, the United manager said it was the lowest among all sides in the division, and claimed the Red Devils were ‘dependent’ on the referee – as well as themselves – to get ‘speed in the game’ in the cup final.

Newcastle boss Howe said that those comments were part of the game as they prepare for their match at St James’ Park this Sunday.

“It’s part of the game, but not the main part of the game,” said Howe. “The main part of the game is we have to play well. We have to be really good in possession and really good out of possession.

“The game management stuff has been massively overblown towards us in the media. That’s just my opinion.

“First and foremost, we want to be a good football team, but if there are things you can do, as Kieran showed for the penalty, to help your team in certain moments, that are all within the laws of the game, we will try to do it.”

“I would make the point that there are a lot of clubs with bigger budgets than us,” said Howe, when asked if Newcastle really were competing with Manchester United on a level playing field again.

“I’ve said all along, our success is not based on money at all. I’m seeing the work and the spirit and the togetherness of the group, what every player is giving to the cause. When a team is successful it is not down to one thing, it’s a collective and a lot of different aspects go into that. It’s the same if a team isn’t performing well, We will keep doing what we are doing.

“I don’t think it is for me to judge if we are competing with Manchester United as equals. It is not what I spend my time doing. I just make sure when we turn up we are a better team than we were the week before. That is the aim.

“You can buck that trend [of the richest clubs being the most successful.] It is possible. It is not easy to do. Team spirit, togetherness, implementing a plan. Hopefully everyone is on the same page and working harder than everyone else. It is a simple blueprint that I have always tried to use.

“There are ambitions for the club to grow income. It is vital we do that because of financial fair play. We are going to be restricted depending on our income. I know that is the challenge everyone at the club is trying to find answers to.”

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