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Newcastle 'have to believe' they can win Champions League group of death

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe has told his Newcastle players they have to believe they can top their Champions League group after being drawn against three European giants.

The Magpies - who are in the competition for the first time in 20 years - will face French champions Paris St-Germain, seven-time winners AC Milan and 1997 champions Borussia Dortmund in Group F.

TV pundit Owen Hargreaves said after the draw that Newcastle could emerge as surprise group winners "if they get it right".

When asked if he agreed, Howe said: "You have to believe that, yes. I'm not necessarily sure that should be the expectation, but I think we can.

"I'll let other people talk about what can and can't happen. All I'm really focused on is what we can do internally, and that's be our best."

In a season that began with almost unprecedented optimism at St James' Park, Newcastle have lost their last two games and Howe is wary of being picked off by high-level opposition - as they were by 10-man Liverpool on Sunday.

"Going back to the Liverpool game, for a long part of that game, I thought we were really, really good," he added.

"You can still lose the game against high-quality opposition if you switch off for a couple of moments like we did, so we're going to be feeling those effects again against elite teams.

"We're going to have to be concentrated and at our best right through the games to win."

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