Eddie Howe says it would be “foolish” for him to promise that bottom side Newcastle will buy their way out of Premier League relegation trouble in the January transfer window.
The new boss celebrated his 44th birthday on Monday by preparing his team for Tuesday’s clash with Norwich, with the club still seeking their first win of the season after 13 matches.
Newcastle, who lost 2-0 at Arsenal on Saturday, are six points adrift of safety at the foot of the table but they have vital home matches against the Canaries and Burnley — the two clubs directly above them — over the coming week.
The Magpies’ new Saudi-backed owners have indicated they will invest significantly in the squad but Howe knows he cannot rely on spending power alone to preserve their top-flight status.
Asked if he had been assured of backing in the transfer window, he replied: “I can’t make any promises on that, but I can promise that the people above me, the owners, will support the team and support me in trying to achieve what we need. That’s all I can say at this time.
“It would be foolish of me to make rash promises or statements. My priority at the moment is to get the best out of the players we have.”
Howe has seen signs of improvement in his team in the two games since he replaced Steve Bruce but knows defensive frailties need to be eradicated if they are to drag themselves out of trouble.
“I don’t think there are any limitations on what we can achieve with the group of players we have here,” he said. “We have to improve performances, improve results and once confidence returns to the team, I think you will see a different team.
“But attacking and defending is always a delicate balance for any team and we just need to get that right.”
Howe, who will be without suspended defenders Jamaal Lascelles, his captain, and Matt Ritchie, will be in the dugout at St James’ Park for the first time after missing the last home game following a positive coronavirus test.