‘Wow’ - Eddie Howe reveals ‘crazy’ moment he realised Newcastle United supporters were Premier League’s best

Newcastle United manager Eddie HoweNewcastle United manager Eddie Howe
Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe | Getty Images
Newcastle United supporters stunned Eddie Howe on his first day at the club’s Benton training ground

Eddie Howe has relived attending Newcastle United training on his first day and being greeted by fans in total darkness - admitting he was blown away by the club’s support.

In November 2021, the Magpies were staring into the relegation abyss. Newcastle sat 19th in the Premier League after 11 games and without a win all season.

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The Saudi-backed takeover promised better days ahead but a lacklustre and confidence-bereft squad looked destined for the drop. It was Howe’s job to weaponise the off-field positivity and transform that into results.

The thought of having the “richest” owners in world football and being relegated became a real possibility. But from day one, Howe received the full backing of the Toon Army to turn the club around.

Those early days were testing, with the Toon boss winning just one of his opening nine Premier League games. He was also dumped out of the FA Cup by Cambridge United - ringing alarm bells in some quarters about his credentials.

But Newcastle’s patience paid off and, buoyed by sensible investment in January, Howe comfortably led the Magpies to safety - before securing Champions League football the following year. Fans recognised the mentality shift following his appointment, with 6.30am starts and gruelling training sessions getting the players up to speed.

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Speaking on The Overlap, the 46-year-old reminisced about his first day - where several fans braved the winter air to welcome their new manager. Howe also opened up about his “connection” with the city and its obsession with football.

“Instantly, when I came to Newcastle, I felt at home and happy,” he said. “You never quite know when you go to a new club if you’ll fit. I felt that instant connection. I felt it from day one. When we first came to the club, you could see the dedication of everybody. They (the fans) were camping out at the training ground to see us on our first day!

“You’re turning up and thinking ‘what, people are waiting for us?’ We were getting in at 6.30am and there was loads. I thought ‘Wow, people are crazy for this football club’. We needed to try and generate that support in a positive way. The biggest compliment I can say to everyone connected with Newcastle is, since we’ve been here, home and away they’ve given us so much.

The feeling that we’re stronger together is so clear here. The crowd is such a powerful force and the people give so much for their club. It’s a great area to live in, I’ve loved it. It’s football, football, football. Everything is about Newcastle.”

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