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Newcastle boss Howe warns relegation battle will go ‘to the wire’


London (AFP) – Eddie Howe warned Friday that Newcastle’s fight for Premier League survival will go “to the wire” despite a six-match unbeaten run that has lifted his side out of the relegation zone.

Burnley’s victories over Brighton and Tottenham and recent wins for Norwich and Watford have pulled more clubs into relegation danger.

Just seven points separate 14th-placed Brentford from bottom side Norwich.

Newcastle, who travel to Brentford on Saturday, have won three and drawn three of their last six matches to climb two points above the drop zone.

But Howe said the Magpies, who spent heavily in the January transfer window, still have to fight for their future in the English top-flight.

“It’s going to go right to the end of the season in the sense of the relegation battle,” he said. 

“The fight to stay in the league I think, will go to the wire.

“From our side, we have to take care of our own business, and that is consistently winning games or consistently getting points and trying to push ourselves and elevate ourselves away from danger.

“But if we think it’s going to be given to us by the other teams, that’s absolutely not going to happen. 

“This is the hardest league in the world for a reason and we’re going to have to fight for every point.”

Victory for Newcastle this weekend would lift them above Brentford, who have taken just a single point from their past seven league games.

Newcastle hope to have Allan Saint-Maximin back in the fold after the French winger missed last week’s 1-1 draw with West Ham because of a calf injury, prompting the club to send him to Monaco for intensive treatment this week.

“We felt that was the quickest way to get him fit, so he’s in a very good place mentally and he’s very eager to return,” said Howe.

Christian Eriksen could be in the Brentford squad, eight months after the midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020.

“It would be great to see him back on a football pitch,” said Howe. “From our side, during the game, we can have no emotion towards that, we all have to concentrate on our jobs.

“But certainly it’s great to see him fit and healthy and enjoying his football again.”

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