The time is now for Newcastle United to stand up and be counted – that’s the view of former Magpies defender Steve Howey, writes Liam Kennedy.
The ex-defender, who played for a Newcastle XI who drew 2-2 with a Manchester select side at Kingston Park yesterday to commemorate 20 years since Kevin Keegan’s side famously beat Alex Ferguson & Co 5-0, thinks United need to prove just why they were pre-season favourites for promotion.
And while he is satisfied by the start made by Rafa Benitez’s men, he thinks post-international break is the time for them to really show the rest of the division what they are made of.
“Looking at the team they’ve got to stand up and say ‘yes, we are the favourites, we need to show everyone why’,” said former England international Howey.
“We need to really go and make St James’s a fortress.
“We should be OK though. It’s a very long campaign both in the league, and the cups.”
Ahead of the visit of Brentford at the weekend, Howey is also calling for more of United’s squad to come as leaders on the park.
He said: “There’ll always be one captain but there needs to be a good five or six leaders on the pitch.
“Every team needs players who can lead by example. (Jamaal) Lascelles gives the team that at the back.
“He just needs to knuckle down and get the lads behind him.”