Copy of 2023-12-23T163836Z_643281950_UP1EJCN1A8AHZ_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-ENGLAND-LUT-NEW-REPORT-1703524056157
Newcastle United's Miguel Almiron reacts during a Premier League match against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on December 23. Image Credit: Reuters

London: The Christmas-week Premier League fixtures may not be popular with some managers, but Newcastle United’s Eddie Howe cannot wait to play on Boxing Day.

A 1-0 loss at 18th-placed Luton Town on Saturday left Howe yearning for Tuesday’s home game against Nottingham Forest.

“We are desperate for another fixture very quickly to try and put this game to the back of our minds,” he told reporters.

Winning spree

Seventh-placed Newcastle have won their last seven league games at home, beating defending champions Manchester City, leaders Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.

But that was not the only reason behind Howe looking forward to the St James’ Park fixture.

“The festive games have always been very enjoyable. I loved them as a player. I loved playing at Christmas,” he said.

“Managing, it’s the same. I think they are slightly different games. I think the atmosphere is always very strong.

“We’ve got to show the right attitude ... play the game as we know we can, and hopefully the supporters will do the rest,” he added.

Howe cautioned against underestimating 17th-placed Nottingham Forest under newly-appointed manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

“Whenever you play a team that’s changed manager I think there’s always an interesting dynamic because of changes, potential changes tactically,” he said.

Newcastle have had bad results in December including exits from Champions League and League Cup, as their streak of losing away matches in the league grew to five.

Asked whether he would be able to enjoy Christmas, Howe said, “Maybe not this year so much as previous years.”