Newcastle boss Eddie Howe happy to be 'unpopular' with rest of Premier League

Newcastle's Premier League rivals made the summer transfer window difficult for manager Eddie Howe as the club continue to ruffle the established club's feathers.

Howe believes Newcastle will have to fight for everything now they are seen as a major threat to the Premier League's top clubs, but has no concerns about becoming unpopular as they strive to progress.

Newcastle's new-found wealth has established the club as contenders to break the big-six stranglehold at the top of English football and, while the fact that much of it stems from Saudi Arabia brings controversy, there is a growing wariness as a result.

He said: "I will take that if we are contenders, but we have that all to prove. We are so early into the season. We need to elevate ourselves in points and league status to make sure we are seen as that. If that makes us unpopular, I will take it.

"We're just trying to be very competitive, we're trying to play our way. We don't want to lie down and accept anything.

"We want to fight for every point, every tackle and do everything we can to win. If that's unpopular with people, then so be it, but we'll continue to hopefully play in the way that we all see that we should.

"We've got to fight for everything."

Howe also revealed the big-spending Magpies' efforts to further bolster their squad as the transfer window ran down were thwarted by domestic clubs making life difficult for them.

Asked if that had been an issue with the club increasingly perceived as a threat as they pursued the likes of Leicester's James Maddison, Leeds midfielder Jack Harrison and Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles, the 44-year-old replied: "Yes, I would say so.

"That was definitely something we felt in the market. Domestic clubs didn't want to be seen to be helping us. We'll have to take that, that is part of where we are at the moment.

"We have certainly found there is no-one there ready to do us a favour. It's the narrative regarding us that has changed. If there is anything domestically, teams will put their price up if it is Newcastle.

"There is a real feeling of us internally knowing we are against everybody else. That is healthy and I would embrace that."

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