Eddie Howe loves it at St James Park – I think night games here are absolutely brilliant
Eddie Howe was / is a happy man.
Five months at Newcastle United and he has once again made it fortress St James Park.
After six away games in the last seven, Friday night it was a return to football on Tyneside.
Reflecting on beating Europe chasing Wolves, Eddie Howe declaring ‘I think night games here are absolutely brilliant.’
Who would disagree after this one?
Maybe not a classic in terms of pure entertainment and loads of chances BUT when you see your team give such a disciplined performance and grind out a vital win against tough opponents, what is not to like when you then head off down the toon for post-match celebration beers?
Wolves play a certain way, sitting deep and not giving a lot away, tempting you in and then hitting you on the counter-attack. You can’t let them take the lead as evidenced by the fact that before Friday night, only the top three had won more away games than Wolves and that Bruno Lage’s team had kept clean sheets in six of the eight victories on their travels.
Like Eddie Howe and his team, the Newcastle United fans had to be patient.
If this was going to be Newcastle picking up a vital three points, it was probably always going to be one where the enjoyment / satisfaction would be in toughing out the victory, rather than doing it in style.
Eddie Howe now has a Premier League record at St James Park as Newcastle United boss, of only one defeat (to Man City), with five wins and four draws in the other nine.
Home matches are special once again, on and off the pitch.
The days of Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce now feel like just a really bad nightmare…
Eddie Howe reflecting on Friday night:
“The crowd really helped us tonight.
“The relationship to the supporters is everything.
“The ground is in the centre of the city, everyone lives and breathes Newcastle, we have to repay that support with hard work, passion and a willingness to run.
“I think night games here are absolutely brilliant.
“I would have loved to have played in one myself but the next best thing, is managing and experiencing what the crowd can do to the players and how they can inspire them, we really needed them (the Newcastle fans).
“It has put us in a stronger position but I still think we have work to do (to make sure we stay up).
“The home games are key for us but we want to pick up points wherever we go.
“At this stage of the season, it is about results.
“We are well aware we need to continue to get points and I think it’s results over performances at the moment.
“There will be a time when we can evolve.
“It was the kind of game we expected it to be, Wolves make it difficult for you.
“We had our moments, it took a penalty to win the game but the players gave everything again.
“We still have work to do but that was a massive step forward and it brings us closer to safety.
“I hope there will be a different Newcastle in the future but we have to play a certain way to get results at the moment.
“Bruno Guimaraes is going to be a mainstay of this team. The difficulty is that we went on that winning run, and it was difficult to break the midfield up.
“He got his opportunity today and I thought he was excellent.
“He offered a different dimension and I am excited by what he can bring to the team.”
“As for Chris Wood, I am so pleased for him.
“You could see him filling in on the left of midfield, he is such a willing lad and the goal will do wonders for him.
“I am pleased he stepped up and took the penalty.
“As a striker coming here you have to score and when you haven’t scored at home in front of your own supporters…it can be a difficult weight.
“He was really challenged and I am so, so pleased for him.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – Friday 8 April 8pm
Wood 72 (pen)
Half-time stats in brackets.
Possession was Wolves 59% (50%) Newcastle 41% (50%)
Total shots were Wolves 5 (1) Newcastle 12 (5)
Shots on target were Wolves 2 (0) Newcastle 4 (0)
Corners were Wolves 2 (0) Newcastle 1 (0)
Referee: Peter Bankes
Crowd: 52,164 (3,000 Wolves)
Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Shelvey, Guimaraes (Longstaff 88), Joelinton, Fraser (Almiron 13), Saint-Maximin (Murphy 90+5), Wood
Darlow, Dummett, Gayle, Ritchie, Manquillo, Lascelles
(‘Great nights under the lights – The Toon is once again bouncing and I love it’ – Read HERE)
(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – Read HERE)
(Eddie Howe makes Premier League history – Absolutely outstanding – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Wolves boss admits Newcastle United deserved their victory as European hopes shattered – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Friday night victory – Read HERE)
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