Eddie Howe set to break quarter-final spell after Newcastle saw off Bournemouth

Eddie Howe is desperate for innovation as he tries to guide Newcastle to the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

The Magpies booked their place in the last eight with a hard-fought 1-0 fourth-round win over former club Howe Bournemouth at St James’ Park on Tuesday night to keep their hopes of lifting a first domestic trophy since 1955 alive.

Asked about the next hurdle, he said: “I’ve been to the quarter-finals a few times with Bournemouth and never got past the quarter-finals.

“These are special matches. Now that you are entering the business part of the competition, you are a few big wins away from a hopefully amazing experience.

“But you can only take it game by game. I don’t know yet who we will be playing against, but we will be looking forward to the next round when it comes.

“I don’t think we were looking too far ahead. These are small steps for us. We are entering the next round, but now the Premier League is the priority and we are looking forward to Leicester’s game, which will be a very difficult challenge for us.

“We will look at the next round when it arrives in our calendar. We will wait for the draw, but we are delighted to still be in the competition.

A game which Newcastle dominated for long stretches without creating the clean chances they might have hoped for was finally settled by Bournemouth captain Adam Smith’s unfortunate own goal, and Magpies keeper Nick Pope had to be vigilant to deny Dominic Solanke a late equaliser.

However, the margin of victory – their seventh in a row – could have been bigger if Callum Wilson’s first-half strike hadn’t been harshly ruled out for offside in the absence of VAR.

Howe said: “We didn’t have a view and I didn’t know it at half-time. I criticized VAR a bit. Especially in the beginning, I didn’t want to change the fabric of how we play the game.

“But then you see an incident like that and if it was next I’m a little disappointed it wasn’t used.”

Opposite number Gary O’Neil was pleased with much of his side’s performance on Tyneside, but understandably disappointed with the manner of defeat.

O’Neil, who was without Jefferson Lerma and Marcus Tavernier after a virus swept through the camp, said: “We came, we gave our best and you come out of the Carabao Cup against a top team that obviously takes competition very, very seriously with the team they name and the subs they make.

“Newcastle away in the Carabao Cup with the form they are in was never going to be an easy draw and the boys have shown themselves really well.

“I ask them to make sure we are competitive every game and that looks like us and even though they had a tough week we were. We were competitive and in my opinion we didn’t had no luck not pushing the game further.

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