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BIRKENHEAD: Nothing stirs the spirits like a cup run — and few clubs are in dire need of one as much as Newcastle United.

Eddie Howe has repeatedly parroted his want for the Magpies to end a 22-year wait for a trip to Wembley, and his side are one step closer this morning, having seen off lower league Tranmere Rovers in round two of the Carabao Cup.

One of English football’s most storied clubs has never won the League Cup, in any of its sponsorship guises, and their wait for a trophy of any note domestically stretches back to 1955. Their last chance at even getting close was 2005, where they were humbled by Manchester United in a Cardiff-hosted FA Cup semifinal.

But this Newcastle is a progressive one, built of new parts. It no longer dwells in the past, and sees progress and even silverware, as attainable.

And Howe is allowing himself to dream, having seen goals from Jamaal Lascelles and Chris Wood turn things around at Prenton Park, after Elliott Nevitt had given the League Two hosts an unlikely lead.

“We had to pick a team we thought would get us through the tie after a tough game on Sunday. I know if I’d picked the same players we would have lost that game, because the players were fatigued.

“We had to stand up and be counted.

“We know we have a responsibility on our shoulders. We have highlighted to the players how important a cup run is.

“Our approach is to treat every game with the same importance.”

Newcastle’s reward for the victory is an all-Premier League clash with Crystal Palace in round three.

Howe made 10 changes to the side that went toe-to-toe with Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday.

One of those brought in from the fringes was Jacob Murphy and his pace caused headaches early on as he poked low towards goal, only to see Mateusz Hewelt keep it out.

Another beneficiary of Howe’s changes was youngster Elliot Anderson, and his energy and dynamism early on was a key factor in the Magpies dominating possession and field position against their fourth-tier opponents.

The young Geordie showed his obvious talent when he jinked and dropped a shoulder before unleashing a rasping effort just wide of the Tranmere post.

In total control, Newcastle somehow left the back door wide open as some neat play down the United left saw Rovers net an unexpected opener.

A bursting Josh Dacres-Cogley run in behind caught the Magpies backline napping and his perfectly weighted center put the finish on a plate for former non-league striker Nevitt, who crashed home from close range.

An injury to Emil Krafth stunted United slightly, but their pursuit of goals was not deterred for too long as Anderson again went close but his effort was headed off the line.

The dominance, and inevitable pressure, told five minutes before the break when Lascelles rose highest to head at goal, only to see the ball cleared back his way, and catching it sweet on the volley he made no mistake from just over five meters.

While an injury to Krafth is a concern, it was probably this change which altered the direction of this one, with Trippier instrumental in both goals, and putting in a captain’s display off the bench.

And the England international was at his set-piece best five after the break as he picked out New Zealander Wood in the middle, whose flick of a forehead at the delivery was enough to see it fly home for the winner.

Joe Willock went close with two later efforts, while sub Sven Botman was denied what would have been his first goal for the Magpies when his powerful header was palmed wide by Hewelt.

“As soon as Trips came onto the pitch you could see the quality of his delivery,” said Howe.

“The two goals come from him. It is all down to his delivery.

“Ideally we wanted to protect him, as he has been through some injury issues since joining us, but when you bring him on he makes all the difference.

“His introduction won us the tie.”

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