Eddie Howe reveals what went wrong for Newcastle United against Watford
Howe's side were held to a 1-1 draw this afternoon after Joao Pedro netted an 87th-minute equaliser for the visitors, who had lost their previous six Premier League games.
Allan Saint-Maximin had put them ahead with what turned out to be United’s only shot on target all afternoon.
A win would have taken Newcastle out of the relegation zone for the first time since October 2, but Newcastle retreated after going ahead. And the result means the club remains 19th in the table ahead of next weekend’s fixture against Leeds United at Elland Road.
"Hugely disappointing, because we were so close,” said Howe. “I thought we dominated the first half. The start of the second half, we got the goal, and then were probably content, not intentionally, of seeing the game out – and we were close.
"I think the players were so desperate to win that they went into a little bit of protection mode, and didn't want to take too many risks. That brings the opposition into the game, and Watford had their best period.
"We were within touching distance of a really important win, which we obviously didn't get.”
United have now dropped 21 points from winning positions this season.
"We need the second goal, and need to keep believing it's not over to get more goals,” said head coach Howe. “We need to manage the game better in the last phase. I think we invited it on ourselves."
Newcastle have taken 12 points from their first 20 games this season.