Newcastle United's owners' behind-the-scenes backing revealed amid upturn in results
The club, however, is now bouncing following three successive victories.
Howe was appointed in November with the club, winless and seemingly hopeless. Newcastle were 19th in the Premier League with just six points from their first 11 games.
Performances improved under Howe, and so did the mood around the club, but the team didn’t win until early December.
A tough festive period – and an FA Cup defeat to Cambridge United – followed, but the club’s fans – and owners – could see progress. They could see an identity forming on the pitch.
And that progress started to yield results late last month. Newcastle, unbeaten in five games, are finally out of the relegation zone.
Howe was asked about yesterday’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa, a club which did see an immediate upturn in results following its manager change in November, about his relationship with the club’s ambitious new owners, who bankrolled an £80million-plus spend in last month’s transfer window which saw five players arrive at St James’s Park.
Howe believes that the “consistency” of their backing off the pitch is now being rewarded with more consistent performances (and results) on the field.
“I don’t think the support from the owners has changed in any way, whether we win, lose or draw,” said United’s head coach. “That’s the biggest compliment I can pay them. Their consistency towards us, and trying to help us ... they’ve been brilliant to work with from day one.
“We’ve built up a good relationship in terms of trust between each other, and knowing my intentions, as their intentions are, is to do the very best for Newcastle United.
“Every day we’re working as hard as we can for the benefit of the team.
“It does mean a lot to share success with those people around you to create that team above you as well as below you is hugely satisfying. It’s a great feeling.”
The club is 80%-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund following last October’s £305million takeover. Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners and Jamie Reuben’s RB Sports & Media both own 10% stakes.