Eddie Howe's post-match brilliant reaction to Newcastle United's first Premier League win
The fightback starts here – and not before time.
Newcastle United, at the 15th attempt, have won a Premier League game, and this afternoon’s hard-fought 1-0 win over Burnley at St James’s Park lifted the club off the foot of the division.
The three previous clubs which failed to win any of their first 14 games – Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield United – went down.
As such, the odds don’t favour Newcastle, but the team has shown enough in Eddie Howe’s first four games to suggest they have more than a fighting chance of staying up this season.
Head coach Howe joined his players on the pitch to applaud the club’s fans after the game, which was decided by a first-half strike from Callum Wilson.
Howe, without the injured Ryan Fraser, made two changes, with Jamaal Lascelles and Miguel Almiron replacing Fraser and the suspended Ciaran Clark in the starting XI.
Richie, back from a one-game ban like Lascelles, had to be content with a place on the bench, as Howe kept faith with Jamal Lewis at left-back. Federico Fernandez, so impressive against Norwich City on Tuesday night following Cloark’s dismissal, was named on the bench.
Newcastle didn’t start well. Burnley – who had knocked United of the Carabao Cup at St James’s Park early in the second – had them on the back foot, and Johan Gudmundsson had a shot deflected on to the left-hand post by Javier Manquillo.
The visitors carried the bigger threat for much of the half, though they had Charlie Taylor to thank for a block on Wilson.
United’s breakthrough came in the 40th minute. Joe Willock delivered the ball from the left, and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope inadvertently bounced the ball on Fabian Schar’s head as he attempted to claim it.
Wilson reacted first to the loose ball, and shot into the unguarded net to score for the sixth time this season.
Newcastle took their lead into the break, and Almiron had a shot turned wide after the break as Howe’s team pushed for a second goal in front of a 51,948 crowd at St James's Park, where United hadn’t won since May 19.
That goal didn’t come, and had United had to doggedly defend their slender advantage. Newcastle moved the ball well themselves at times – Allan Saint-Maximin repeatedly drove them up the pitch – but they struggled to create clearcut chances against a disciplined visiting team.
Almiron had a shot deflected wide, and Jonjo Shelvey had an effort tipped over the bar by Pope.
Howe sent on Fernandez for the final few minutes, and Jacob Murphy came on for an exhausted Saint-Maximin in added time.
United held on, and Howe joined his players on the pitch to applaud the club's fans after the final whistle. He punched the air as supporters chanted “Eddie Howe's black and white army”.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Lewis, Shelvey, Willock, Almiron (Fernandez, 85), Joelinton, Saint-Maximin (Murphy, 90), Wilson. Subs not used: Darlow, Ritchie, Hayden, Hendrick, Krafth, Gayle, Longstaff.
BURNLEY: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Westwood, Gudmundsson, Brownhill, McNeil, Wood, Cornet. Subs: Hennessey, Cork, Roberts, Lennon, Rodriguez, Pieters, Vydra, Long, Thomas.