After Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge, Eddie Howe was criticised for dodging a question asked about the 81 men who had been beheaded in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, with him preferring to focus on football matters instead.
Speaking on Monday Night Football, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher felt the NUFC boss would need to give a proper response to such issues sooner rather than later – and he’s taken a big step towards doing that today.
At today’s press conference, Sky Sports’ Keith Downie asked if there was anything he’d like to add about the situation over in Saudi.
Here’s the quotes in full, followed by a 55-second clip of what he had to say:
“It’s not uncomfortable to be asked, I understand you need to ask. But it’s my right to answer how I feel is right for myself and for NUFC.
“At the moment it’s to give you as much as I can without going into an area that’s not best for me to go into. If I do, the team may suffer.
“I was a footballer with a slight difference. I got on the team bus aged 19 with a copy of The Times under my arm. I got strange looks from my teammates. But I came from a family where things were pushed towards me.
“I was interested in world politics at that stage. But having time on my hands as a football manager is difficult, so it’s gone out my life slightly.
“I will have to dedicate more time to it, though. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m job obsessed – It’s an understatement actually.
““In the modern world part of my job is to know what’s going on around the world and I’m reading up on that.
“I respect Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher’s opinion and I get on well with them. I’ve no issue with that they said. But ultimately it’s my right to say what I need to say.
“”Before I took the job I looked at it as the club, the players, the support base. You then meet the people behind the scenes – Amanda, Mehrdad, Yasir – brilliant people who I’ve got a good relationship with. A lot of trust has been built between us.
““The club of course is owned by people who the Premier League allowed to own a football club. So from my side that’s as far as it went and I’ve reviewed my decision based on the people I’ve met. I’m very proud to represent this football club.
“I understand questions have to be asked, I have no problem with that. But my specialist subject is football. As soon as I deviate from that into an area I don’t feel qualified to have an opinion I get into dangerous ground. I’m best sticking to a preparing a team for Everton.”
Elsewhere, Howe also confirmed that we will go on a mid-season trip to Dubai after tomorrow’s game with Everton, with us set for a 17-day break as our next game isn’t until April 3rd.