The revealing photo which captures Eddie Howe's 'new' Newcastle United team
Fabian Schar summed it all up in three words – and a hashtag.
A 1-0 win over Burnley at St James’s Park, ordinarily, would not be something to over-celebrate.
Yet the roar that greeted yesterday’s result was telling. This was something to celebrate. Newcastle United, at the 15th attempt, won a Premier League game thanks to a goal from Callum Wilson.
Eddie Howe’s players had left everything on the pitch, and Schar, bloodied after a bruising 90 minutes, posted a photograph of the players and backroom staff in the dressing room on social media after the game.
The caption read: “We are Newcastle! #team.”
One win alone won’t change much. The club is 19th in the Premier League, and still deep in relegation trouble ahead of a tough run of festive games. The club is in the middle of a bleak winter, but the outlook may just brighten.
The appointment of Howe, and October’s takeover, has brought everyone together.
The toxicity of the Steve Bruce era has gone, and the club is united in more than just name.
Newcastle, under Howe, is getting an identity, something it never had under Bruce. Howe needs time, but he has clear ideas, and he’s brought a welcome clarity to the role.
Fans, as with Rafa Benitez during his time as manager, are again trusting the process.
And Schar’s comment is particularly revealing in that respect. Howe and his staff have brought everyone together, and this unity gives the club a chance of staying in the Premier League.
Howe, appointed last month as Bruce’s managerial successor, joined his players on the pitch after the final whistle.
The 43-year-old punched the air and applauded the club’s fans, who had been unwavering in their backing. United’s supporters had demanded 100% effort – and they got that.
Non-Newcastle fans, and those outside Tyneside, may mock the reaction to the win as over the top, but they hadn’t endured 14 years of Mike Ashley, the last couple of which had seen Bruce at the helm.
Yes, it was just a win, but it was a significant and uplifting one.
“The relationship we have quickly built with the fans is special,” said Howe. “They were magnificent with the players. It was an amazing feeling to get that first win for them.
“It was a thank you for everything they have given me and the team. Those scenes at the end can only galvanise us to move forward positively.”
Howe went on: "For sure, we can stay up. We've come from a difficult position, and there’s a long road ahead, but I believe in what we’re doing.
"We’ve tried to bring our philosophy to the team, to be (on the) – front foot and more aggressive. Confidence is key in any sport, and we’ve lacked that, but (the Burnley win) goes a long way to rebuilding that.”
The photograph posted by Schar, and his message, resonated with supporters.
This new-found unity will be all-important over the coming weeks and months. There are far tougher challenges ahead, but this was a start, and an important one at that.
The fightback is on.