Eddie Howe says fantasy signings will have to wait at Newcastle as he builds a team of fighters to keep them in the Premier League.
The arrival of the new Saudi-led ownership in October gave rise to talk of superstar signings and hundreds of millions of pounds being splurged this month.
But Howe has instead led the drive to bring in two players with Premier League experience in the form of Kieran Trippier, 31, and Chris Wood, 30, both of whom are set to start during Saturday’s relegation showdown at home to Watford.
Manager Eddie Howe (pictured) says fantasy signings will have to wait at Newcastle United
‘When the takeover happened there was a lot of excitement at what lay ahead,’ said Howe. ‘But the immediate needs of team are very different to that initial expectation.
‘It was my job to cut out a lot of the noise and just see what the team needed. That is what I’ve tried to do in our current situation – recruit the right players.’
The signings of Trippier and Wood for a combined £37million have been applauded by fans and Newcastle have also been linked to a £25m deal for French teenager Hugo Ekitike.
Kieran Trippier (right) joined Newcastle this month from LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid
But Howe warned: ‘There is nothing wrong with signing younger players for the future – I have done that historically in most of my career – but there is a time and a place for those types of signings.
‘With the current needs of my squad, the two guys we’ve signed were the right ones.
‘They are two players I wanted to sign, no doubt about that. They make the squad better and have the right characteristics in terms of playing and attitude. And they are ready to play, that is a crucial thing for us in our current position.
Chris Wood is the latest arrival at St James’s Park after his reported £25m move from Burnley
‘The players have to want to join your battle in the fight to stay in the league, and when they are at the top of their profession, that is not an easy sell.
‘Newcastle does have a huge pull in many different ways, but I believe our league position is not one of them.
‘So for me, the most important thing is to bring in the right characters into the group, who want to play and fight for Newcastle United now and in the future.’