The Newcastle United dressing room verdict on Eddie Howe's first week as head coach
Newcastle United players have bought into Eddie Howe’s intense demands after Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie told teammates what to expect.
That’s according to Simon Francis, who provided an insight into the dressing room mood on Tyneside following conversations with his two former Bournemouth colleagues.
Howe has been working the players hard in training – as shown in footage released by the club – following his appointment as head coach last Monday.
The 43-year-old takes charge of his first game on Saturday afternoon as he eyes a first three points of the season against Brentford to kickstart the Magpies’ Premier League survival mission.
Francis believes the United square are responding well to the demands put forward by Howe and his new-look coaching staff of Jason Tindall, Stephen Perches, Simon Weatherstone and Graeme Jones.
"I speak to Matt Ritchie and Callum (Wilson) quite a lot,” Francis told Premier League Productions.
"It's funny – a lot of players who leave Bournemouth or stop working under Eddie Howe go into football clubs and they realise training is not as intense or they're not getting as much out of training and you see that reflected on a match day as well.
"They've been telling the lads, 'Look, if Eddie does get this job, be ready to work hard in training because that's what it's going to be about'. I think the last few days have been that.
"The new players have bought into it. They've been excited by it. They've enjoyed training more than anything and Matt Ritchie and Callum will be that sounding board for the dressing room.
"I think there will be a positive influence within there but, ultimately, it will be about Eddie in the first couple of weeks.
"If he can get performances out there on a match day from the training ground and get all the players buying in in that short period of these two weeks even, I think that's going to be very important.
"Maybe it's a little bit easier for him going into a football club when he knows a couple of the players already and they can help mix within the group so I think it's a positive all round."