'Bullish' Howe defends Newcastle's approach

Harry De Cosemo, BBC Sport

Eddie Howe was bullish in his pre-Borussia Dortmund news conference, when asked about Newcastle’s approach to football in the aftermath of the victory over Arsenal on Saturday.

The Magpies’ winning caused quite a stir after a VAR check, with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta far from pleased.

Howe said he has no problem with the way his players perform as long as they do so “in the spirit of the game”, adding that his side are just “here to win”.

“We just play the game,” he stated. “Look, I think we play hard. We play the game in a really strong way because we want to win. But I think we play fair and we will do the same again.

There was a steeliness to his demeanour that suggested he was clearly frustrated by the discourse over recent days, with Newcastle’s approach under the microscope, and not for the first time.

Newcastle come into this Champions League game in fine form after the win over Arsenal followed victory at Manchester United in the Carabao Cup.

Fabian Schar added that he feels like Newcastle is a “second home” and praised Howe’s impact, fuelling the fire of the siege mentality that could well be developing at Newcastle.