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Howe plays down Newcastle’s ‘outrageous’ top four push

Howe’s side climbed to fourth place after Callum Wilson’s brace and goals from Joelinton and Miguel Almiron demolished a woeful Villa side at St James’ Park.

Newcastle’s Saudi-backed ownership group made it their goal to win major trophies after buying the club from Mike Ashley and the early returns on their investment are promising.

The Magpies have lost just one of their 12 league games this season thanks to Howe’s astute management and the financial backing of the club’s owners.

But asked if Newcastle should now be considered top four contenders, Howe poured cold water on the growing anticipation on Tyneside.

“That’s an outrageous question,” Howe said. We’re just happy where we are. We’re trying to win every game. I’ll let you write the headlines.”

Howe was happier to champion Wilson’s World Cup dreams after seeing him score in front of England boss Gareth Southgate.

Wilson’s nerveless penalty deep into first-half stoppage time put Newcastle ahead and his deft 56th-minute header extended their advantage.

The striker is hoping to earn a spot in the England squad for the World Cup, which starts in Qatar on November 20,

“I’m not too aware what the players know and what they don’t know about who comes and who’s watching them. I almost think it’s better, you just play your normal game and you’re not overthinking too much,” Howe said of Southgate’s presence in the stands.

“Callum is, of course, desperate to be involved with England, it’s one of his childhood dreams, so he will be really pleased that he played so well.

“He scored the two goals and his overall performance was very good.”

Howe was not completely happy with the performance on a day when his side laboured in the first half before cutting loose to claim a fifth win in six matches.

“The first goal is so important in any game. Today we got it, probably from our best move of the half to be honest, and the second half was totally different,” he said.

“That’s the football and the style that we want to see on a consistent basis here. I stood back and enjoyed the second half. I thought we were really good.”

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