Eddie Howe reveals ‘key’ reason for Newcastle United’s recent success and how ‘dark moment’ against Cambridge United inspired the team
Jubilation surrounded St James’s Park at full-time on Easter Sunday when Newcastle made it five wins in a row in-front of their home fans.
Bruno Guimaraes’ 94th minute winner sparked crazy scenes at full-time as Newcastle lifted themselves to 13th place and, crucially, 12 points clear of the relegation zone.
It has been a remarkable 2022 for the Magpies, they are unbeaten at home in the league and have left real relegation worries behind them.
“I think our home form was going to be absolutely key in us trying to stay in the division.” Howe said.
“We really wanted to try and create an environment where the players were excited to play at home and wanting to play at home.
“I have to give the supporters huge credit that they have created that environment very quickly. The players look forward to home games and the ability to express themselves and play without fear.
“And even today when we didn’t have the ball and we were under pressure, the supporters understood that and stuck with us and hopefully we rewarded them at the end with a moment that will certainly live long in my memory.
“You don’t score that many late goals that decide games and it was a brilliant, brilliant feeling for Bruno and for everyone connected with Newcastle.”
That game came just a week after their hugely disappointing showing against Cambridge United in the FA Cup.
Defeat to Cambridge and the late equaliser from Watford left St James’s Park a deflated place at the turn of the year, however, as Howe revealed, the team have used these ‘dark moments’ to help improve their fortunes:
“Not just the Watford game but the Cambridge game as well, those moments never leave you because at that time, we were in desperate need of a lift.
“We hoped that game would bring it and the Watford game was absolutely the same, we were devastated in that moment.
“But I think these things can sometimes help you, the adversity and the dark can re-inspire and refocus.
“I said recently, after we played Tottenham, that as much as I didn’t want the second-half [of that game] to happen, it could be a good thing to refocus our minds on what got us to where we are.
“Thankfully since then we’ve got back on it and the lads have been excellent.”
As always though, Howe was coy on talk that the Magpies have secured their Premier League status with this win:
“In terms of being safe, we’ve got work to do, we’ve got points to get and you never know what can happen in football, it’s such an unpredictable sport, but we’re certainly in a much healthier position now.”
Newcastle are back in action at St James’s Park on Wednesday when they face Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.