Kieran Trippier is confident Newcastle will contest bigger prizes than the Carabao Cup as they build towards a brighter future.
The Magpies will play in their first final for 24 years when they line up against Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday, when victory would end a wait for a major trophy dating back to 1969, some 14 years after they claimed their last domestic prize.
However Trippier, a LaLiga winner with Atletico Madrid and a Champions League finalist during his time at Tottenham, believes even that would represent only a start.
Kieran Trippier, LaLiga champion 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Qslw12pA6u
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) May 23, 2021
He said: “We’re in a cup final, but we want to be where Manchester City are, where Manchester United are, where all the top teams are.
“We want to play in the Champions League, we want to be challenging, so hopefully this is the first of many, and I certainly believe this club has a great future ahead of it – and they have the perfect manager to lead them.”
That man is head coach Eddie Howe, who shares England full-back Trippier’s ambition as he attempts to utilise the financial muscle of the club’s Saudi-backed owners to restore the Magpies’ fortunes.
Howe said: “Winning would help us accelerate the process and the journey, for sure.
“It isn’t the be-all and end-all for what lies ahead. I hope that regardless of what happens, the club is in a good place and can grow from here.
“Of course, we want to put pressure on ourselves to achieve – and I’ve said that from day one. There is no part of me that’s going to Wembley just to enjoy the day and the experience.”
Trippier is one of the few Newcastle players to have experienced big finals, although the pain of Champions League defeat by Liverpool and England’s heartbreaking Euro 2020 loss to Italy on penalties provides added motivation for him.
He said: “In the Champions League, we conceded in the first two minutes; for England, it was on penalties and that’s just on the flip of a coin. But the pain of that was tough, especially for England.
“But you want another competitive match as soon as you can. I don’t want to be walking into that match on Sunday with that mindset, but a winning one.
“I’ve got the experiences, but this is a totally different time and feel about it. I can’t go in with a negative thought.”
The Trippier family will be torn this weekend – brothers Kelvin, Curtis and Chris are regulars at Old Trafford – although the 32-year-old defender is expecting them all to be fully behind his bid for glory and the joy that would bring to the city.
He said: “Even taking my kids to school, the headmaster is coming out and saying thank you. They’re so passionate and thankful, even some of the kids’ dads, just how proud they are, how excited that some might go down to London and there’s just a real good feel around the city.
“As players that’s all we do, try to put a smile on everyone’s face who supports us,
“When I go for dinner with my wife, it’s the exact same. They’re so passionate, which is a nice feeling.”
Newcastle will be boosted by the return of key midfielder Bruno Guimaraes from suspension, but will be without keeper Nick Pope following the red card against Liverpool which has thrust potential debutant Loris Karius into the spotlight.