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Howe urges Newcastle to produce their best form against Brighton to fend off Liverpool

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe wants his side to show their best against high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion tomorrow.

The Magpies want to consolidate third place in the Premier League, but Brighton are also eyeing a European qualification spot.

Howe knows the Seagulls will present a challenge as Newcastle push for their first top-four finish since the 2002/03 season.

Howe praised Roberto De Zerbi and his team for their season. He lauded their performance in their last game as they beat title challengers Arsenal.

He said (via Newcastle’s official website): “I think it’s going to be a really tough assignment for us but one, at home, that we’re not fearful of and hopefully we’ll take a big step forward.

“We’re not looking too far ahead. As I’ve said all season, it’s small steps and it’s the next game, trying to get three points against a really tough opponent.

“That’s all we can do at this moment in time. We can’t look beyond – at other teams’ fixtures and external factors.

“We have to look very much internally and bring our ‘A’ game because this is going to be a really tactical game, an intriguing battle and hopefully we can show our best.”

Howe said his players and staff know the importance of the final three games and confirmed Sean Longstaff and Jacob Murphy are the only injury doubts.

The 45-year-old was talking about avoiding relegation at the beginning of the season but is now on the cusp of guiding them back into the Champions League.

The Magpies are close to getting the job done but can ill-afford any slip-ups with Manchester United and Liverpool hot on their heels.

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