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Eddie Howe talks of sacrifice and suffering – Newcastle United fans buy into it

3 weeks ago
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Eddie Howe reminded us all today of what it feels like to have a proper manager (head coach) in place at St James Park.

On Monday he was confirmed as the choice of the new Newcastle United owners, on Tuesday he and his new NUFC backroom staff were at the training ground before 7am to kick off this major challenge.

Then after taking training for a second day, Eddie Howe met the media to properly launch himself as the man charged with turning around the mess left behind by Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley.

Newcastle fans were loving the clips put out on social media from Tuesday’s first training session, as Eddie Hope cracked the whip.

Today, he backed that up when declaring: ‘It’s going to take a lot of sacrifice and suffering in terms of the players giving everything they have, to try and commit to the objective’ of avoiding relegation, as a first step in turning around the club on the pitch.

That is surely the reality, that where Newcastle United end up in May will be massively down to the current players. Not daydreaming of solely relying on January signings to save the season. The 21st Premier League match of the season is at Southampton on 2 January 2022, so there is only a maximum of 17 PL matches where January signings could potentially influence how things turn out.

The club became a joke under Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce, how refreshing then to hear somebody like Eddie Howe so passionate and truly believable when he declares: ‘It feels fantastic to be head coach of Newcastle. I’m absolutely honoured and privileged. It’s an incredible moment in my life.’

Standards had dropped so low at the club and Eddie Howe can play a massive role in changing that, as though for which of the current players are capable of living up to the new expectations, that remains to be seen…

Eddie Howe on arriving at St James Park for the first time after getting the job…:

“It was an amazing feeling.

“I can’t describe it.

“When you walk through the doors, you walk down the tunnel, you imagine bygone eras, previous players, previous managers and the names connected with those walks down that tunnel.

“I think it’s incredible, and it’s certainly brought a feeling that I’ve rarely experienced in football.”

Priorities:

“It’s all about the short term and the position of the team.

“We need to try and address that very quickly and move up the league, and the aim is to stay in the league – it’s to avoid relegation.

“That’s what I’ll be working towards and that’s really my main focus at the moment.

“Everything else can wait for another day.

“I’m absolutely confident that we can [stay up] but I make no promises on that.

“All I can do is lead the club to the best of my abilities.”

Giving it everything:

“I’ll give everything to the job.

“I’ll commit 100 per cent, every single day, to try and bring success to Newcastle for everybody connected with the club.

“I believe we have the ability within the squad, with the players, to achieve that aim, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work.

“It’s going to take a lot of sacrifice and suffering in terms of the players giving everything they have, to try and commit to the objective.”

Spending 15 months out of football:

“Even in work, that’s been my focus – self-improvement – and doing that on a day-to-day basis while in work.

“But I think it’s much clearer when you’re out of work, when you’re out of the emotions that football management can bring and you can take yourself away into a different place mentally.

“I’ve had some fantastic visits, once COVID rules allowed – I’ve been out and about here, there and everywhere, and I think I sit here now a better manager than I was.

“Even though people would say I’ve been out of the game and might question that, for me, I’m more relevant and more in touch than I’ve ever been in terms of what’s going on at the top level.”

An honour and a privilege:

“It feels fantastic to be head coach of Newcastle.

“I’m absolutely honoured and privileged.

“It’s an incredible moment in my life.

“Judging by the reaction I’ve had and how the [first] two days of training have gone, it’s been a really positive start. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me, and the board here for trusting in me in this important job.

“Everything just felt right – it really did. The pull of the club is huge. The size of the club, the history of the club, obviously the new ambitious plans, the new owners when meeting them, knowing some of the players, the squad – I just thought it was a perfect fit for me.

“Yes, I’ve had lots of other options, but I wanted to take my time and really utilise my time away from the game. I feel refreshed and energised, and ready to start work.

The backroom team:

“Coming with me are Jason Tindall, Stephen Purches, Simon Weatherstone and Dan Hodges.

“Graeme Jones is still in the mix and I’m delighted to work with Graeme.

“I think adding someone to my backroom team was something that I’d looked at and considered during my break and it’s something that I positively wanted to do.

“So having Graeme already here in situ and is someone I know, respect and really like, I think it’s going to be a perfect match for us.”

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