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Newcastle United: Chris Sutton questions Eddie Howe team selection after FA Cup exit

BBC pundit Chris Sutton has questioned Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe after he played a weakened team in the club’s recent loss.

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The Magpies suffered a shock defeat in the third round of the FA Cup last week as League One side Sheffield Wednesday beat them 2-1 at Hillsborough.

For the game, Howe opted to rotate and rest by giving a number of fringe players a rare start. For instance, the likes of Marin Dubravka, Javier Manquillo, and Jamal Lascelles were all put into the defence.

This change to the usual team seemed to disrupt the team and it certainly cost Newcastle their chances of winning the FA Cup this season as a Josh Windass brace dumped them out of the competition.

While speaking on BBC Radio Show 606, Sutton questioned Howe for his decision and claimed fans must have been ‘bitterly disappointed’ by the final result.

Indeed, he said: “Eddie Howe did it at Bournemouth, didn’t he? He always does it, rest a lot of players.

“And people can say, well do you know what, Newcastle was still strong enough to beat Sheffield Wednesday. Well, they weren’t.

“If you make changes, you have to win the games. I think Newcastle United fans will be really bitterly disappointed that they’re not going to have an FA Cup run.”

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Cup exit

Since the 2004/05 season when they lost an FA Cup semi-final to Manchester United, the Magpies have made it past the fourth round just once (losing a quarter-final to Manchester City in  2019/20).

With that in mind, it’s more than likely that a number of supporters would have liked the club to go on a bit of a run this season – especially seeing as they are doing so well in the league.

At Bournemouth, Howe didn’t ever go far into the competition either. The manager was in charge for two spells between 2008 and 2011 and 2012 and 2020. In that time, the Cherries never went past the fourth round.

This suggests that he never really has taken the competition that seriously but in fairness, this time around, with a spot in the top four up for grabs, perhaps he can be forgiven.

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