Eddie Howe has backed Newcastle United to get through a challenging period in their campaign as the Magpies look to revive their flagging top-four hopes at home to Wolves.
Newcastle are without a Premier League win since beating Fulham 1-0 on January 15, and Howe’s men are now four points adrift of the top four with the likes of Fulham, Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford breathing down their necks in the table.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s meeting with an improving Wolves team, Howe said Newcastle’s mentality will be crucial if they are to turn their form around.
“Through every season, there are difficult moments and there are patches where you, for some reason, don’t win the games maybe you should,” Howe said.
“That’s the time, I believe, that you have to be really strong, mentally, and know it will change.
“I think this has been slightly different to previous experiences I’ve had, with cup games in the middle of two tough league games, but general performances have been very strong.
“You have to look at the dynamic of the team and how they’re performing knowing the results will follow that pattern.”
Wolves moved five points clear of the relegation zone by beating Tottenham at Molineux last week, continuing their revival under Julen Lopetegui.
The Spaniard, however, expects Wolves to be severely tested on Tyneside, saying: “We’re going to play against one of the strongest teams in the Premier League.
“They have a fantastic squad, very good players and a very good coach. They play with one very clear style, rhythm with and without the ball.
“They are ready to fight for the Champions League, but in the same way we are going to go there with ambition and thinking we are able to compete with them and beat them.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Newcastle United – Callum Wilson
In his English league career, Newcastle striker Wilson has played more games (eight) and more minutes (661) against Wolves without scoring than he has versus any other opponent. With the Magpies struggling for attacking inspiration of late, Sunday would represent the ideal time for him to break that duck.
Wolves – Raul Jimenez
With one goal and two assists, Jimenez has been directly involved in three goals in his last three Premier League games against Newcastle.However, it’s been 19 games and over a year since he scored a Premier League goal (on March 10, 2022 against Watford), with the Mexican having 28 shots without netting in that span.
MATCH PREDICTION – NEWCASTLE UNITED WIN
Newcastle are winless in five Premier League games ahead of their clash with Wolves, though they triumphed 1-0 in this fixture last season to halt a run of five home league games without a victory against Wolves.
Wolves approach the game in decent form, winning five of their 11 Premier League games under Lopetegui, as many as they won in their previous 29.
Of all Premier League fixtures to have been played at least 15 times, Newcastle versus Wolves has seen the highest percentage of meetings end in draws (67 per cent – 10/15), and the highest percentage of meetings where both teams have scored (93 per cent – 14/15).
OPTA WIN PROBABILITY
Newcastle United42.2 per cent
Wolves 28.2 per cent
Draw29.6 per cent