Newcastle have been labelled as the ‘team to fear’ in the Carabao Cup after sealing their place in the semi-finals after beating Leicester 2-0.
Goals from Dan Burn and Joelinton fired the Magpies into the last four of the League Cup for the first time since 1976 – where they finished as runners-up.
And it is the first time since the 2004/05 season, under the tutelage of Graeme Souness, where the Toon outfit have advanced to the semi-finals of a cup competition.
Newcastle are playing so well and Sunderland icon Micky Gray has begrudgingly admitted that Newcastle are the team to beat – despite Manchester City still being in the competition.
Speaking on commentary for talkSPORT, the ex-Black Cats defender said: “I think they’re [Newcastle] the team to fear, I have to say it.
“They’ve got something going on, they’re only going to get better.
“There’s no hiding place from them. But I tell you what they have done, they’ve put the North East back on the map, which is great. Not just for Newcastle, but for Sunderland and Middlesbrough as well.”
Newcastle fans will now start dreaming of potentially winning their first domestic trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 1955.
And Howe is relishing the next round after his side’s ‘excellent’ display against the Foxes.
Howe said: “We were excellent. Really good intensity and created a lot of chances but the only disappointment was we didn’t score earlier.
“Incredible moment for Dan Burn. I am so pleased for him. This is his club and he has come back here and he is savouring every moment. I am so pleased for him.
“We still have a long way to go, we are just pleased to be in it and the two legged semi-final is something we will savour and we will give it our best shot.”
Burn, who joined boyhood side Newcastle in last year’s January transfer window, spoke of his delight at his first goal for the club, while insisting it is about time for the Magpies to end their trophy drought.
In his post-match interview to Sky Sports, he remarked: “I used to sit in the East Stand, you always want to score in front of the Gallowgate end, to do that in front of my family was amazing.
“I like to get forward and it’s entertaining watching a guy my size running into the box!
“It was excitement before the game. The gaffer made a big thing of going for a trophy this season, in previous years staying in the league was enough, but this year we want a cup.
“The fans deserve it and we want to deliver.
“When I first came here I thought it might be quite down, that’s how it has been when I’ve been at other clubs who were in a relegation battle, but it’s a great group of lads that we’ve brought in and we all complement each other.
“Sometimes you can get used to winning and that defeat the other day gave us the shock we needed.”
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