The 'hostile' challenge facing Newcastle United after Tottenham Hotspur win

Eddie Howe hailed Newcastle United’s “top-class” performance against Tottenham Hotspur.
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Howe’s side beat Cristian Stellini’s team 6-1 at St James’s Park this afternoon to move up to third place in the Premier League ahead of Thursday night’s game against relegation-threatened Everton at Goodison Park.

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Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak both scored twice, and Joelinton also found the net, in a 20-minute spell at the start of the game. England captain Harry Kane got a goal back for Tottenham after the break, and substitute Callum Wilson scored a sixth for Newcastle.

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Asked if he had ever been involved in a game where a team had been 5-0 up after 20 minutes, United’s head coach said: “I’m not sure if I have, I can’t remember.

“What goes through your head? It’s always about managing the game. Even at 5-0 after 20 minutes, the game’s not done. There’s a lot of time to play. I’ve seen crazy things happen in football.

“With the quality that Tottenham have got in the front areas, we had to keep our composure and concentration. I thought we did that. The players deserve a lot of credit for what they gave today. It was a top-class performance.”

High Standards

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe waves to fans after the Tottenham Hotspur win.Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe waves to fans after the Tottenham Hotspur win.
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe waves to fans after the Tottenham Hotspur win.

Howe wanted his team to push on and add to their early lead.

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“You always want more,” said Howe. “You’re never going to sit there, and sit back and go ‘right lads, everything’s great’, because in football it can turn in seconds.

"In football, it’s about demanding more, and making sure we maintained our high standards from that early start to the game.”

Howe has so far refused to talk about Champions League qualification. The win moved the club six points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.

Hostile atmosphere

Asked if he was now talking about qualification, Howe said: “Me personally, no. I’m talking about Everton now – and focusing on our next game.

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"We went there this time last year in a very similar position in a sense of evening game, Everton desperate for the win themselves, we were desperate for the win. It was a difficult evening for us.

"We need to learn the lessons from that. We know how hostile it’s going to be.”