Eddie Howe admits Newcastle 'weren't good enough' in Dortmund defeat

Eddie Howe admits Newcastle ‘weren’t good enough’ in their 2-0 defeat against Borussia Dortmund, with the Magpies now facing an uphill task to make the Champions League knockout stages after successive defeats

  • Newcastle lost to Borussia Dortmund for the second time on Tuesday night
  • Eddie Howe was disappointed by his side’s performance in Germany
  • Chris Sutton: ‘How my son nearly died’ – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off podcast

Eddie Howe said he was at a loss to explain why Newcastle had failed to show their best version over two defeats against Dortmund that have left them on the brink of Champions League elimination.

The head coach admitted his team were simply ’not good enough’ during Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat in front of the famous ‘Yellow Wall’ here at Signal Iduna Park.

Dortmund are the only team to beat in-form Newcastle in their last 13 matches, and Howe said ‘It’s a difficult one to answer, I’m not 100 per cent sure myself (why Premier League form has not been replicated).

‘If the best version of ourselves turns up today then I think the result would be different. I felt the same in the first game (1-0 defeat at home). That’s not to take anything away from Dortmund, who have played us really well in the last two games. You have to give them a lot of credit. 

‘Today’s task was huge for us and, ultimately, we weren’t good enough. I’m disappointed. I always am when two things come together, you don’t perform at your best and you lose. Those two things are a double whammy for me. We are probably going to have to win our last two games now.’

Eddie Howe struggled to explain why his Newcastle side struggled to perform in Germany

Borussia Dortmund ran out deserved 2-0 winners to move top of Group F

Joelinton missed a huge chance at 1-0, and Newcastle now may need to win their last two matches to have a chance of progressing to the last 16

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Joelinton headed wide from a few yards out at 1-0, and Howe said: ‘I thought it was a really good move and he would back himself to score that if the chance came again. It is the key moment in the game from our perspective.’

Howe was without 12 senior players and could only name eight substitutes – including two goalkeepers – instead of 11.

‘I think we’ve lost the ability to make certain decisions,’ said Howe, who also lost Callum Wilson to a tight hamstring at half-time. ‘In a sense, I’m being forced to make certain decisions and pick certain teams.

‘Looking at Anthony Gordon (on at half-time), he played for 90 minutes against Arsenal and gave absolutely everything physically, and I think the turnaround for him was just too quick. I didn’t think he could start the match, so we had to use him as an impact player.

‘In a different set of circumstances, you’d probably have liked to have played a different type of winger, but I’m not going to sit here and make excuses, that’s what we have.’


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