Win at Tottenham underlines Newcastle’s transformation under Howe

Win at Tottenham underlines Newcastle’s transformation under Howe

Soccer Football – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain – October 23, 2022 Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe shakes hands with Sean Longstaff after the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – As transformations go, Newcastle United’s under Eddie Howe takes some beating.

After 12 games last season, shortly after Howe had replaced Steve Bruce, Newcastle were bottom of the standings on six points with the only target being Premier League survival.

Fast forward to Sunday and a thoroughly-deserved 2-1 victory at Tottenham Hotspur, where they lost 5-1 last season, sent Newcastle into fourth place with 21 points from 12 games in which they have lost only once.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comWhile the financial clout of a Saudi Arabia-backed takeover has helped add quality to the squad with likes of Keiran Trippier, Nick Pope, Sven Botman and Bruno Guimaraes arriving on Tyneside, Howe’s methodology cannot be understated.

He has turned Newcastle into one of the toughest nuts to crack in the Premier League with only 10 goals entering their net in the opening 12 games — the best record in the division.

That is not just down to better defenders, but also a work ethic that goes from top to bottom throughout the team.

Howe’s biggest problem now might be managing expectations as Newcastle sit in the top four at this stage of a season for the first time in a decade.

The former Bournemouth manager is keeping his feet firmly on the ground but Sunday’s win at third-placed Tottenham was a big statement that Newcastle can challenge for a top six finish and even for a Champions League berth.

Even when Harry Kane reduced the arrears on Sunday early in the second half after goals by Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron before halftime, Newcastle managed the game to perfection and comfortably preserved their lead.

“That was the key moment in the game for me,” Howe told reporters. “The atmosphere changed and Tottenham’s tails were up but I loved the response of the team.

“We didn’t just drop deep and go into protection mode, we remained involved in the game as an attacking threat.”

With Newcastle’s next two games against Aston Villa and Southampton, Howe’s side have the chance to consolidate their place in the top four before a clash with Chelsea.

Newcastle also have the likes of striker Alexander Isak and winger Allan Saint-Maximin to come back from injury, but Howe is refusing to make grand claims.

Asked if they can stay in the top four, he said: “I don’t know. All we can do is give everything for success, we will give our all in every game.

“Everyone in the group wants success for the team ahead of any individual. The players emptied the tanks for us today.”

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comReporting by Martyn Herman
Editing by Christian Radnedge

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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