Yohan Cabaye on Newcastle's Champions League dream and whether Eddie Howe is the man to deliver it


Former Newcastle United hero Yohan Cabaye has insisted that Eddie Howe is capable of leading the Magpies to the Champions League again.

Howe failed to do so last season and also missed out on a place in the Europa Conference League after Manchester United won the FA Cup. But Cabaye sees class and quality in the manager he watched dismantle Paris St-Germain in last season's competition.

In an interview this week Cabaye exclusively told Ladbrokes 1-2-Free: "Is Eddie Howe under pressure? I don't know. What I will say, is that he's a very good manager, and one who I believe is more than capable of delivering Champions League football for the club, once again.

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"He has the quality, he has the experience, and he knows the league really well. Fans are going to be disappointed with a seventh-place finish, but it could have been worse. The goal for next season is to get back into Europe, because playing European football each season only builds a team's experience and confidence levels. It's really important for Newcastle to be fighting for Europe every season, now.

"For me, though, last season wasn't a bad season. Let's not forget, it wasn't that long ago that Newcastle were playing in the Championship, and while they have these new owners and they're in a much better place behind the scenes, it's important to remember that success isn't instant.

"We've been on a long journey... we're still on that journey. We're building on something. In terms of recruitment, success takes planning. Even with all the money in the world, it doesn't guarantee you trophies.

"You need to pick the right people, in the right positions, with the right mentality, at the right time. I think they've done a really good job in the last few transfer windows, bringing in the right players who are going to develop and improve the team.

"I'm not the kind of person to identify specific areas where the team needs investment, because I don't want to disrespect the club. I've got a lot of respect and love for the club, and I'm sure they'll be intelligent enough to bring in the right names this summer."

The former France international had sympathy for Howe and Newcastle last term and understands why the club slipped from fourth to seventh.

Cabaye added: "I think Newcastle suffered a little bit last season when it came to squad depth; it's so difficult playing Champions League football, while at the same time playing Premier League football with the expectation of qualifying once again for Europe. It's so difficult. You need a deep squad of players who are going to give you the best chance of reaching your objectives.

"The Premier League is the toughest league in the world; every week, you're coming up against teams who are very well-prepared, who have incredible players, all over the pitch. That's what makes it the best league in the world."