'Perfect time' - Eddie Howe's rallying cry after admitting brutal truth over Newcastle away form

Eddie Howe insists Newcastle United's European hopes remain in their own hands but also knows the Magpies no longer have their rock solid home form to rely on as the race heads to the wire.

Saturday's 1-1 draw with Brighton may have been disappointing but it means Newcastle have ended the campaign by going eight games unbeaten at St James' Park. On the whole, Howe has guided his team to 12 league wins from 19 on Tyneside, drawing four and losing just three to Liverpool, Manchester City and Nottingham Forest.

If the Premier League table only took home form into account, Newcastle would be in the top four. It does not take a genius to work out it is therefore their away form that has been lacking in recent months.

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On the road, Newcastle have won five of their 17 games this term, scoring 30 and conceding 35. In comparison, the north east outfit scored in every home game this season, netting 49 in total and shipping just 22.

But flipping to the positives, Newcastle have certainly picked up some big wins on their travels. Just last week there was the 4-1 thumping of Burnley, while Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Fulham have all been turned over this year.

Last time Newcastle travelled to Old Trafford, they recorded a massive 3-0 win over Manchester United in the Carabao Cup. Howe knows his side really need a repeat if that performance as they look to fix their inconsistent away results for the final two fixtures.

"It’s in our hands, we can control what we need to control,” said Howe. “I think we are playing well, I think there has been an upturn in our performances since the start of the year. It sets things up nicely for the last two games. They are two massive games for us and that is how we will approach them

“Our home form has been excellent, we’ve been really strong here and I’m just sad that we couldn’t sign off with a win. Our away from has been inconsistent, we’ve struggled for that, but this is the perfect time to put that right. We know what we need to do and we are always confident when we have the group of players we do, but I’m sure the other teams are saying the same thing.”