Eddie Howe's response as Newcastle United criticised after Chelsea defeat

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images
Newcastle United were criticised in the aftermath of their defeat to Chelsea.

Eddie Howe admits Newcastle United's defeat to Chelsea on Monday night left him angry - but the head coach refuses to blast his players in public.

The Magpies' 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening sparked a furious response from supporters on social media as their team slipped to a 12th defeat of the Premier League season.

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United sit 10th in the table having collected just 14 points since the 1-0 win over Manchester United on December 2. Asked if he was aware of the fan criticism after Chelsea, Howe replied: "No, I was not aware. Am I surprised? No I am not. We are in a results driven business and I wasn’t happy. I was angry after the game.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

"There was a lot of internal reflection, but for me to open myself up to that world is not going to help me or the players. It is dealing with my emotions and making sure I look at the game objectively so we are fighting back for the next game."

Howe's side were accused by one fan account as "spineless cowards with no heart, no desire, no passion and no energy". Many supporters have pointed to that view as being an overreaction but Howe said: "It is not nice to hear. Especially after what we stood for last season.

"I think we were the absolute opposite of what you have quoted. But I understand emotional responses to games. I am sure the people who have written those words mean them. Now it is up to us to answer them."

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Although Howe has expressed his true feelings with the players privately, he doesn't plan to do the same in the media.

He said: "I think it’s my job to support the players in the media, 100%. That’s always been at the very forefront of my mind when I’m speaking to anyone external. I love my players, I want to help them in every way. In their life and in their careers.

"Behind the scenes I will let them know in no uncertain terms if I’m not happy and they’ve got to do more. Have no fear about how I interact with the players behind-the-scenes"

He added: "I get the fascination with how angry I am. I understand it because there’s a need for a reaction, but I don’t necessarily believe in that style of management. I believe in accountability and making your players aware of their roles and responsibilities. Their performances have to be accountable.

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"Before you rant and rave and start saying things you regret, which is very easy to do in this job... and I have done it previously but then you’re thinking, ‘now I’ve got to unwind what I’ve just said’, and I don't believe in that style of management. I’ve learned from that, it’s probably not wise to do it, so I’ll do it in a more controlled way but certainly let the players know I’m not happy.

"The biggest power I have is team selection – if you’re not performing well, you’ll come out of the team. That’s been challenged this year because I haven’t had the array of options I’d have liked, but certainly I’ll be trying to use that as the season unfolds and we get players back."

And rather than point the finger at the players, Howe has asked fans to direct their emotions at his door.

"I have to say the supporters on match days have been truly inspirational for us this year. They have never turned on the team through some difficult moments. They have always supported the players. That is the thing I ask of them. Support the team, the players on the pitch, leave any anger and resentment - those type of emotions -  for me. Support the players, they need it, and they have after some really difficult away games.

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"They have given us some incredible receptions. I certainly don’t sit there and think that’s just expected. It’s a unique set of supporters who support their team through thick and thin and I think that’s the hallmark of the Newcastle fans this year."

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