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´Why can´t Newcastle dream of Premier League title?´ – Given

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Dec 2022

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Shay Given sees no reason why high-flying Newcastle United cannot dream of Premier League glory following their victory over Leicester City.

The Magpies climbed to second in the table – four points behind leaders Arsenal – after a commanding 3-0 win at the King Power Stadium thanks to goals from Chris Wood, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton.

Newcastle have now recorded six successive Premier League victories for the first time since doing so on the way to a fifth-placed finish under Alan Pardew 10 years ago.

With one game remaining in 2022, Newcastle have won 21 matches this calendar year, their most since 23 wins in 1995. They finished second in 1995-96.

Former goalkeeper Given, who racked up 462 appearances at St James’ Park between 1997 and 2009, believes his former club can genuinely challenge for a first top-flight title since 1927, highlighting opponents Leicester’s fairytale success in 2016 as an example.

The 46-year-old told Amazon Prime Video: “Can Newcastle compete to win the league? Leicester did it a few years back, why can’t Newcastle dream of it? Why not?”

Eddie Howe became the third English manager to win more than 20 Premier League matches in a single year after Kevin Keegan (24 in 1994, 23 in 1995) and Roy Evans (22 in 1996).

But the Magpies coach is eager to keep his players focused on the short term.

“Internally, it’s [about keeping] expectations in check, not putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves,” he said. “Let’s just go into the next game and try to win it, try to execute our game plan as well as we have in previous games.

“Everyone else no doubt will talk and build things up. We can’t control it. Let people do it, as long as we’re internally focused on what we have to do to perform well.

Wood, who opened the scoring from the penalty spot, concurred: “It’s way too early to even think about that, but [the fans] can go on and dream.

“They’re enjoying it, and we just want to put on a show for them and show what we can do. It’s a great start.”

Joelinton, who sealed the points, added to BBC Sport: “We have to go game by game, and let’s see what we can achieve at the end of the season.”

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