Newcastle United have a win and a loss from their two games so far this season. Based on the reaction of fans, either we are winning the lot or plummeting at an alarming rate.

The emphatic win over Aston Villa was followed by a humbling defeat to Manchester City, who reminded us how far we have to go to reach the top.

But that should not be news for fans, although there was a severe overreaction following the game – which Bruno Guimaraes eventually took issue with.

At the moment, it looks like it will hopefully be another good season for Eddie Howe‘s side. We have recruited well and look in similar shape to last season.

However, the real test will come when the Champions League kicks off.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League
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Steve Howey concerned about Newcastle’s Champions League travels

The draw for the group stage is next week, when Newcastle will find out the three teams that they are facing. For fans, they will find out which European cities they are going to be taking over.

Whoever we come up against will provide a real test, and it could also end up having an impact on our domestic form.

That is the view of Steve Howey, who has spoke to FourFourTwo about how the travelling for Champions League away games could hurt Newcastle.

“The really tough thing is the Champions League,” he said.

“Not just Europe, the Europa League for example, but the top tier. Pep pointed out after last weekend’s game that City had had to travel to Athens to play Super Cup that week while Newcastle had had a free week.

“The travelling will be difficult. If Eddie and his players can cope with fighting on multiple fronts, that really will be something special.”

Newcastle United v Leeds United - Premier League
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Those extra games are going to be a real strain on this Newcastle squad. That is why the summer transfer window has been so important, with the Magpies adding depth to key positions.

We have seen plenty of teams struggle due to the demands of European football, and it will be a decisive factor in just how well Howe’s side do this season.

Hopefully it is not a major issue, but it is something that Howe will be looking to manage carefully when the competition kicks off next month.

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