AHEAD OF THE GAME: Eddie Howe explains why he could never be a friend to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp and Eddie Howe have endured a fiery relationship over the last few seasons and are set to renew their rivalry over the weekend as Newcastle host Liverpool to St James’ Park

Eddie Howe has claimed that he will never consider Jurgen Klopp as a friend ahead of another fiery showdown between Newcastle and Liverpool.

The two sides have been at the heart of some memorable and iconic battles in the past. That is set to continue on Sunday as the Reds travel to St James’ Park to take on Howe’s side.

The Newcastle boss and his opposite number stoked the fire between the two clubs following furious exchanges after Liverpool’s 98th-minute winner at Anfield a year ago. Whilst Howe has admitted his admiration of Klopp, he is sure that they will never be pals whilst they are both still in the dugout.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, he said: “I don’t really have a relationship with any manager, I’m competing against them. I find it very difficult to have personal relationships with competitors. I’ve been the same as a player.

“I was not one to talk to players before a game. I draw a line, and so that is just how I have always been. I respect Jurgen a lot. I think he’s done an incredible job. He’s an unbelievable football manager but I draw the line at friendships because they don’t exist for me.”

“When you grow up in a house of three brothers and a sister, I think naturally you just compete for everything,” the Newcastle boss added. “You are fighting for attention I suppose.

“You are fighting for anything. Then, you start to play little games which I would create, games with my brothers which I would want to win, so maybe it’s gone from there. There’s no such thing as a friendly, even now with my kids, I’ve got to try and win. That is built in me somehow.”

Ahead of this weekend’s meeting at St James’ Park, Klopp has already attempted to liven things up. Speaking out on the Premier League ’s new rule of having no assistants on the touchline, the Liverpool boss claimed that Howe and his assistant Jason Tindall would be the most affected.

Asked about the German’s comments, Howe refused to be drawn into another war of words. He replied: “I wouldn’t say I laugh at the comments. Other people can have opinions. That’s fine. I’ve got no issue with that. You just sort of roll with it, let it go and just talk about my team.”

After the showdown with Liverpool, Newcastle have a further assignment against Brighton before the first international break of the campaign. Elsewhere, Liverpool take on Aston Villa at Anfield next weekend.




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