The reputation Eddie Howe ‘didn’t like’ that he has managed to shed at Newcastle United

Eddie Howe is pleased to be turning his ‘reputation’ around at Newcastle United this season.

In his five Premier League seasons at AFC Bournemouth, Howe’s sides conceded an average of 66 goals per season.

So joining a Newcastle side who were well on their way to setting a new Premier League record for most goals conceded in a calendar year could have been a recipe for disaster.

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Yet the reality has been anything but as Howe was able to quickly shore up Newcastle’s defence. And 10 games into the 2022-23 campaign, they boast the best defensive record in the Premier League with just nine goals conceded.

Eddie Howe, Manager of Newcastle United, reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on October 16, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

"I’m very pleased, it’s a compliment to the players and their mentality,” Howe said.

"We very much have the mindset here that we want to defend as a team right from the strikers, filtering back to the goalkeeper and you can see that when we play this season.

"The collective ambition is to be a really good team in and out of possession, but it’s an ever-changing thing.

"We can’t rest on our laurels or take what we’ve done to this point for granted. Every challenge is so unique in the Premier League so now we come up against an Everton team that will give us a different test to the one we just had at Old Trafford.”

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Howe went on to reveal that his 18-month break from management provided a period of self-reflection as he looked to strengthen certain areas of his coaching.

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"It’s a strange one because defending and attacking go hand in hand,” he added. “I had this reputation of not being a good defensive coach, and I didn’t particularly like that.

"But that’s not to say we’ve drastically changed our method and approach. When I had my break I went away and looked at everything I was delivering, and one of the things I thought was that our defensive record at Bournemouth wasn’t very good.

"There are reasons for that but you have to be very self critical. We’ve worked on that but it’s not to say we know everything or have fixed everything.

"Defensive records are to be analysed at the end of the season, not after 10 games. It’s something we’ve worked hard on and will continue to work hard on.”