Both clubs were also fighting for a Champions League spot, adding another layer of bite before the clash. Newcastle United blew Ten Hags side away, with a despondent Luke Shaw admitting post-match they were outfought at St James Park.
Supporters did not learn until months later just how much Ten Hag angered Howe. In Amazons We are Newcastle United fly-on-the-wall documentary, arguably the most memorable scene showed the Toon managers reaction to Ten Hags press conference.
The Dutchman had called Newcastle annoying to play and urged referee Stuart Attwell to be consistent in letting the game flow. These comments backfired.
As the series showed, an irate Howe stepped out of character to deliver a passionate pre-match speech, using Ten Hags words to fuel. Newcastle ultimately came flying out of the blocks and barely gave United an inch for 90 minutes.
Fast forward to the present and it is Ten Hag now aiming to exert Carabao Cup revenge following last months 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford. Instead of provoking his counterpart, the United boss had adopted a different approach, preferring to woo the hosts with praise.
“I really respect them, Ten Hag said this time around. It&aposs a difficult team to play but it&aposs a good challenge and I like to play against them. We have to rise to the occasion (and) be on our best against them because the way they play is very organised.”
There appears to be no needle from Howe, too, who is aiming to kick on after valiant performances against Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. The 46-year-old told reporters their beef is in the past while reciprocating the compliments.
“Thats absolutely in the past, Howe said ahead of tonights game. Weve played Manchester United since. That moment is long gone. Were looking to the future, playing a different team, in a different game, in a pivotal moment of our season.