Eddie Howe reflects on beating Burnley and an incredible six months – Stunning
Eddie Howe now finally has time to breathe.
The 44 year old reflecting (see below) on beating Burnley and an incredible six months at St James Park overall.
A stunning job done by Eddie Howe, despite the incredible pressure and the absolute mess that Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce had left behind.
Maybe these last two games and wins have summed up perfectly just what a difference Eddie Howe has made, with his professionalism, dedication and intelligent handling of the Newcastle United players.
Not many managers / head coaches take on a new managerial role a few months into the season and they are faced with the job of first of all getting the players properly fit.
A damning indictment on what had preceded the arrival of Eddie Howe, with so many players having came out and said how badly prepared the NUFC squad had been for the demands of this season, with fitness of the team far below their rivals.
Eddie Howe has instigated tough love, working the players hard and they have absolutely responded, shrugging off the bad habits picked up under Bruce.
Last Monday night we saw probably the best display of the season, a totally dominant performance with Arsenal lucky to lose by only two, as Newcastle completely outplayed them.
Then on Sunday it was a very different challenge, playing away on the final day of the season where a desperate Burnley had to win to ensure they stayed up. Even though they had nothing of real substance to play for, Eddie Howe and his players rose to the occasion superbly. Against a very physical and hyped up home side, Howe’s team played any football that was on show and their composure and belief helped them ease into a deserved 2-0 lead. They then had to show the other side of their game as they came under extreme pressure, the final half hour or so seeing Burnley throwing everything at it but the NUFC players standing up to it and holding out for an eventual 2-1 win. This despite missing a handful of first team players AND losing Joelinton after only eleven minutes.
Eddie Howe reflects on beating Burnley and an incredible six months at Newcastle United:
“The support from the fans, home and away, has been absolutely incredible, and we have really, really needed them.
“In the dark days of December and January, we needed this group of supporters to stick with us, bear with us, understand the situation we were in.
“That is where I give Newcastle supporters so much credit because they did stick with us.
“They gave us time, allowed us to build our confidence.
“Now you are seeing a team which knows how to win.
“It has got that rhythm and understanding of seeing games out.
“It was incredibly tough at the end (against Burnley).
“A big thank you to them (the fans) and hopefully we have made them happy.
“It was quite an emotional moment actually (when speaking to the Newcastle players after beating Burnley).
“A big thank you from me to them for everything they have given the team, the club.
“A big thank you to the staff as well because it has been a real team effort.
“The unity and togetherness we have had has been something that has been great to be a part of.
“I am privileged to lead this team.
“There are some incredible characters in the team, in the changing room today, through the season, so it was a very special moment.”
Never going to be one for the purist…
“It was a difficult game…emotionally, tactically, technically.
“It was never going to be one for the purist.
“The atmosphere was very intense and it created a game that was unpredictable.
“I thought that we did enough at 2-0 but then they scored.
“The last period of the game was very difficult from our perspective and Burnley played very well…some heroic defending from our players.
“It would have been very easy to drop our levels and play our part in Burnley winning the game and them ultimately staying up, but we had standards to meet and were determined to represent the club well today, the players deserve a lot of credit for that.”
Mind the gap
“To be honest, I’m not sure I could have said I had seen it (finishing 14 points clear of the relegation zone) coming.
“December was a very difficult month for us.
“We came in and on the horizon was a very tough month with Liverpool and Manchester City, plus we had a squad that was suffering with injuries at the time.
“This (end of season place in the table) was a position that seemed a long, long way away then.
“I have to compliment the players for how they have dug in, for how they have united together.
“There were plenty of examples throughout the team of players fighting for the shirt, giving their all, and I think the players deserve a huge amount of credit.”
On Joelinton’s injury:
“It didn’t look good.
“I could see by the way he went down.
“I thought…‘this could be serious’.
“Apparently it is a deep laceration (to the foot).
“I think the doctor, initially when he saw him, could see part of his bone, so I think it was quite deep.
“We knew immediately we had to withdraw him.
“However, he is in good spirits in the dressing room.
“He had a boot on and said he was OK, so that’s great news.”
These final two wins of the season have ensured that in the second half of the season (final 19 games), only Liverpool and Man City have picked up more points than Eddie Howe and Newcastle United. United with three more points in these last 19 games than Spurs who had the fourth highest total, the likes of Man Utd 11 points less!
Stats from BBC Sport:
Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – Sunday 22 May 4pm
Wilson 20 (Pen), 60
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Possession was Burnley 51% (40%) Newcastle 49% (60%)
Total shots were Burnley 12 (2) Newcastle 8 (3)
Shots on target were Burnley 5 (1) Newcastle 6 (3)
Corners were Burnley 8 (1) Newcastle 2 (1)
Referee: Craig Pawson
Crowd: 21,361 (2,350 Newcastle)
Dubravka, Trippier, Lascelles, Burn, Targett, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Joelinton (Murphy 11), Saint-Maximin (Wood 72), Almiron (Ritchie 89), Wilson
Darlow, Schar, Dummett, Fernandez, Krafth, Gayle
(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 on Sunday afternoon – Read HERE)
(Premier League form table for final 19 games is outrageous – Newcastle United on the rise – Read HERE)
(Joelinton official injury update from Newcastle United after player of the season stretchered off – Read HERE)
(Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Sunday’s victory – Read HERE)
(Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – Eddie Howe ends season on an NUFC high and sends his old club down – Read HERE)
(Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match – Read HERE)
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