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Howe admits fans will be dreaming of title challenge

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Eddie Howe admitted Newcastle fans will be dreaming of an unexpected Premier League title challenge after his side's 3-0 win at Leicester on Monday.

Howe's side climbed to second place thanks to a first half goal blitz at the King Power Stadium.

Chris Wood's penalty, a sublime Miguel Almiron effort and Joelinton's strike gave Newcastle a three-goal lead by the 32nd minute in their first top-flight match since the World Cup break.

Howe was delighted to see Newcastle's pre-World Cup momentum was not affected by the pause for the tournament in Qatar.

It has been a brilliant start to the campaign for the Magpies and Howe knows Newcastle fans, who have been starved of success for decades, are beginning to dream of ending their long wait for silverware.

"My attitude won't change to that. I have no problems with the supporters dreaming and talking and speculating about what we can achieve and no doubt the media will, I can't control that," Howe said.

"The only think we need to be mindful of internally is just focus on what we can control and our own thoughts and actions and how we train and how we prepare.

"And not look too far ahead and not listen to too much news and media and just focus on our training and make sure we focus on it game by game.

"This is the toughest league in the world for a reason and our opposition no doubt will be watching us and preparing for us, so we have to be ready."

For the first time since Kevin Keegan's reign in the 1990s, Newcastle find themselves in the thick of the title race.

However, while Newcastle have been revitalised by Howe and the club's Saudi-backed owners, winning the Premier League might be a step too far at this stage of their development.

They haven't won a major trophy since the 1969 Inter Cities Fairs Cup, while their last major domestic prize was the 1955 FA Cup.

At the very least, a strong bid to qualify for next season's Champions League looks within Newcastle's reach.

Howe, who took his squad to Saudi Arabia during the World Cup break, was encouraged by the way the Magpies brushed aside Leicester with the kind of clinical display that has proved beyond them for years.

"I'd say the performance was up there when you consider the opposition and the game and the break and everything that has gone into to preparing for this game," he said.

"To start in the manner we did was hugely important. Credit to the players for how they have attacked their game.

"We scored some very good goals and the general mentality of the group was very, very good after the break.

"Today was a big test for us and I'm delighted with how the players started."

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