Eddie Howe gives his verdict on Newcastle – and Rafa Benitez

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe always felt one goal would be the different between Bournemouth and Newcastle United.

A late strike from Steve Cook gave Howe’s side a 1-0 Premier League win at St James’s Park on Saturday.

When you look at the teams he has managed, the track record he has is second to none and he is well known to be tactically very astute.

Eddie Howe

The result lifted Bournemouth out of the relegation zone.

Howe felt that Christian Atsu – who didn’t play a league game for Bournemouth during a half-season loan at the Vitality Stadium – was one of Newcastle’s most dangerous players.

“Newcastle are a tough team to play against,” said Howe.

“I watched a lot of them in the build-up to the game.

“They have some key players that can hurt you like (Matt) Ritchie and (Jonjo) Shelvey. I thought (Dwight) Gayle was a handful, and Atsu did very well.

“They have players that can win them games and points.

“They are tough defensively, they are a resolute side.

“We knew it was going to be a tight game, maybe one goal deciding it.”

Howe revealed before the match that he has studied Benitez’s career and tactics.

“When you look at the teams he has managed, the track record he has is second to none and he is well known to be tactically very astute,” said Howe.

“I’ve read a couple of his books, and he’s a very intriguing guy.

“I always try to broaden my understanding of people and knowledge of football.”

Meanwhile, Cook – who headed an injury-time corner past Rob Elliot – told of his “relief” at the result.

“It was a massive relief,” said Cook. “I haven’t scored in a long time, and I don’t think we’d won a league game that I’d started.

“It was huge for me. To come up here and get a clean sheet and a win is outstanding.

“We knew that Newcastle had only lost one game (at home) in the Premier League under Rafa Benitez, so it just shows what a big result this is.”