‘Healthy pressure’, Eddie Howe’s verdict on Newcastle United’s intense road trip program
Eddie Howe has spoken of the “healthy pressure” on Newcastle United as they head to four successive away matches in the Premier League. With four straight televised games, the Magpies could actually seal their top-flight status away from home and in front of the cameras if they put their mind to it.
And while Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur away will be tough games either side of the international break, games at Southampton – who were beaten 4-0 at Aston Villa at the weekend – and then Everton, hammered 5-0 by Spurs, are certainly classified as games to be won.
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Speaking ahead of the team’s flight to Southampton, Howe said: “I think there’s a healthy pressure on us. From everyone connected with the team, we want the points and quickly.
“I think that’s been the real hallmark of our last games is that the guys haven’t given up their focus on the back of good results. In fact, the focus has become more intense, so that makes me really fun.
“We know when you’re in the Premier League every game is tough and we know we have a tough end to the season. Every game is a priority before that.
“You have to have the ability to adapt and win in different ways. I think the ugly side of winning things, I don’t necessarily think, has been something that we’ve done very well historically.
“It’s great to see us add layers to our game and I think we’ve been a tough team to play against over the past few weeks.”
Howe’s only complaint against Brighton was his side’s lack of control in the second half. After leading 2-0, the Magpies let Brighton back into the game after the break and hung on towards the end.
Howe said: “I think that’s been a feature of it and I want to maintain and improve that while maybe adding a bit more control because I said we didn’t have against Brighton. I think that “There are always things we look for to improve, but I think recognizing the good and the good has been a very, very good team mentality so far.”