Eddie Howe and Newcastle United’s owners were left reminiscing after a place in next season’s Champions League was confirmed at St James’ Park last night.
Thirty-four days after purchasing the club from Mike Ashley in October 2021, the Magpies’ Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia-led owners turned to Howe as Steve Bruce’s successor.
And the success that has followed since has been nothing short of remarkable, with Howe unexpectedly taking United from the brink of Premier League relegation to the top four in just over 18 months.
Non-executive chairman Yasir Al Rumayyan, plus co-owners Amanda Staveley, Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben, joined in the post-match celebrations as a draw against Leicester City was enough to secure qualification. All reflected on the journey so far.
“It was great to have a little chat,” Howe told NewcastleWorld. “Really there was a lot of reminiscence about what happened when we first came together and the position we were in, and in very quick time we’ve ended up in a different situation, so it was a quick snapshot back to that time.
“The faith they placed in me at that moment, I’ll never forget that they trusted me with the club when it was in really difficult times. Hopefully I’ve justified their decision, so it was a nice moment.”
Asked by NewcastleWorld if he ever believed he would lead the Magpies to the Champions League following a 20-year absence, Howe replied: “I don’t think you necessarily believe, you hope.
“In this job that we’re in when you’re a football manager, it’s very, very precarious, it hangs in the balance, your future, your fate, hangs in the balance.
“You hope that you can bring success, you hope that you can be consistent in your work and the players respond to it, and bringing memories and moments to the supporters as well drives me, so on to next season.”
On Al-Rumayyan, Howe said: “I imagine since I’ve been doing the press, he’d have been in the changing room – that’s just a guess – but I’d imagine they’d have been hopefully words of encouragement and recognition of the hard work the players have given.
“I’ve got to say he’s an amazing man to spend time with and he’s been nothing but supportive and very, very good for me and the squad. He cares deeply about the results, so he’ll be, I’m sure, very proud of the team.”
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