Eddie Howe labelled Newcastle United’s latest FA Cup failure “a huge disappointment” after third-tier Sheffield Wednesday shocked the Premier League high-flyers.
Head coach Howe has taken Newcastle into the Champions League places after huge investment at St James’ Park, but the Magpies were knocked out of their stride at Hillsborough.
Josh Windass scored twice to put Wednesday two goals to the good, and although Brazilian Bruno Guimaraes pulled one back, the Owls hung on for a 2-1 victory.
The result means that for a third season in a row, Newcastle have failed to get past the third round of the FA Cup, while Wednesday become the first team to beat them since Liverpool on August 31.
Newcastle lost at this stage of the cup to Arsenal in 2021, before being victims of a giant-killing when they slipped up at home to Cambridge United last season.
Howe made passing reference to having wanted to atone for the Cambridge defeat, and questioned the finishing of his players, who had 22 shots to Wednesday’s nine but could not make them count.
Howe told NUFC TV: “It was a tough night for us, a really difficult game. We knew it was going to be. We created enough chances to win. I thought we had some really presentable moments. We didn’t take them.
“Once they got their noses in front, it’s very difficult to come back. We tried our best to do that and right to the end we were pushing, but it wasn’t to be.”
It’s a huge result for @swfc!
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 7, 2023
Howe gave League One outfit Wednesday “a lot of credit” for pulling off the upset, with the lack of precision finishing from Newcastle, who sit third in the Premier League, proving costly.
“Bruno scored, and we had numerous chances and players in positions where you’d expect them to do better, just with their quality,” Howe said. “But it was a night where their goalkeeper made a number of great saves, and we missed that clinical edge that we normally have.
“It hurts because it’s a cup competition, and we’re out at the first round – a huge disappointment for us; especially after last year it’s doubly painful.
“The intention of the lads and myself and the coaching team was to come here and win. We haven’t experienced losing for a long time, and sometimes that can be a positive thing on reflection, but at the moment it’s too raw to feel that way.”
Newcastle still have a second chance of cup silverware, with an EFL Cup quarter-final home tie against Leicester City coming up on Tuesday.
“We’re determined to try and put it right on Tuesday,” Howe said.