Newcastle boss Eddie Howe not taking anything for granted in Champions League pursuit
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe is taking nothing for granted despite a return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years looking all the more likely after a 4-1 win at Everton.
Callum Wilson scored his seventh and eighth goals in six matches against the Toffees, with Joelinton and substitute Jacob Murphy adding the others as the Magpies made it 10 goals in their last two matches.
Victory opened up an eight-point gap to fifth place but Howe, whose side thrashed Tottenham 6-1 on Sunday, is refusing to get ahead of himself.
“We know nothing is taken for granted from our perspective,” said Howe. “It puts us in a much stronger position. To get six points from Tottenham and Everton is a great return.
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“It was always going to be a difficult game for us but we handled the occasion well in a hostile environment.
“The first goal was going to be crucial. It was probably our best move and it came at a good time for us.
“The confidence was there and it was evident in the second half, maybe a bit of the edge of the game had gone but I think we had to earn the right to get to that point because Everton put us under pressure in the first half. “
Dyche: We have to correct weak response quickly
Everton suffered their heaviest home league defeat to Newcastle since Boxing Day 1933, when they lost 7-3 in a top-flight encounter.
Since keeping a clean sheet in two of their first three Premier League games under Sean Dyche, the Toffees have only avoided conceding twice in their last 10 league matches.
It is hard to see where Everton go from here. Newcastle made their task of escaping relegation all the more difficult. By full-time, there were vast swathes of blue seats vacated by demoralized souls.
When asked if he feared he had lost the supporters following this damaging set-back, Dyche responded: “The fans have been amazing. I don’t think so. It’s their choice but I think they’ll come back to us until the end of the season.
“I can’t decide for 40,000 people but I get a feel that’s not the case.”
Dyche added: “I’m very disappointed in the end but in the first half I thought my team did everything I wanted other than the goal we conceded.
“We mixed up our play, there was energy in our pressure. Other than the goal, which I felt we could’ve prevented earlier in the move.
“We were as strong as we’ve been. It wasn’t that long ago that Newcastle were being booed by their own fans but now they’re as free as a bird. That has to be earned, and we have to earn it pretty quickly.
“Five or six of their players we’re getting absolutely hammered from their fans last year but they’ve recovered. That’s the journey they’re on and we need to get there. I’ve just told my players that.
“There is no point in worrying. You can worry about it all you want – but I’ve just seen it with my own eyes.”
“We took the game on and I thought in the first half we had been as strong as we have been. We went under too easily after the second goal. You can’t against good sides like Newcastle.
“I thought it was a very strong first-half performance. We kept them to not many chances but they are a good outfit and they kept going and got a second goal and the reaction to that was not good enough.
“We are not finding the big moments in the final third. It is still a work in progress. Wilson whacks one in the corner, no thought, they are just playing with freedom and we need to find that freedom.
“As soon as the second goal went in, which was a really poor goal defensively, we let the game get away. We did it as well against Fulham and we have to correct that very quickly
“We have to park this one quickly and clear our minds going into the next one.”
Newcastle prey on Everton’s flimsy confidence
Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds:
Dyche says his players have to park this result, but there were plenty of encouraging signs in the opening half as Dwight McNeil, Alex Iwobi, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin pressed well from the front.
Like against Fulham in the 3-1 home defeat earlier this month, however, Everton collapsed in the second period.
It has not been this perilous since the last time the club were relegated in 1951. On Thursday, they started a matchday in the bottom two having played at least 32 league games for the first time since April of that year.
It is a time for togetherness and for the team to be galvanized, as it was 12 months ago, when these supporters dragged their side over the line. Ticker tape and flares went up outside the ground as the team bus arrived at 6pm to a cacophony of sound and fury. A sea of blue from the top of Spellow Lane by the Park End and down Goodison Road.
Hanging from above the famous Hot Wot were draped two banners; one charting the nine league titles, five FA Cup and a Cup Winners’ Cup. Nil Satis Nisi Optimium and perhaps the modern take on that Latin phrase on the second: Everton The Gear. But Newcastle came, fronted up and dismantled their inferior opponents.
Two Geordie supporters filmed tumbling down a hill as they caught their coach to Merseyside went viral during the day, but it has been a far smoother journey for Eddie Howe’s side throughout this campaign.
Monday’s trip to Leicester, immediately above Everton in 18th, now becomes a must-win game as with Manchester City one of their two remaining home fixtures, Dyche’s side cannot rely on the power of Goodison to get them over the line to extend a 69- year stay in the top flight.
But Newcastle, having experienced their own period in the doldrums of the Championship, have no such worries as an appearance in Europe’s elite competition proper for the first time since 2003 edges ever closer having scored 10 goals in their last two matches.
Nobody catching Newcastle in this form
Sky Sports’ Keith Downie at Goodison Park:
Sean Dyche summed it up perfectly afterwards: “Newcastle are free-rolling. They’re flying.” An aggregate score line of 10-2 across their two matches this week has the fans licking their lips at the prospect of Champions League football next season. And I don’t see anyone stopping them.
This is as free as they’ve played all season; their subs are making the team stronger; and there’s a healthy competition course through the squad.
Here, they stuck with a physical Everton in the first half, frustrated them, nicked one on the break, then blew them away second half.
They have so many players at the top of their game and so many players scoring or assisting. It must be a delight for Eddie Howe to oversee; he says his attackers are breathing down each others necks. Poor Everton couldn’t live with them. Like Sunday, you could pick four or five different man of the matches.
Tonight felt like a final Premier League hooray for Everton – they’ll do well to recover from this. For Newcastle – Sunday can’t come soon enough. Their traveling fans are loving every minute. But they’ll be loving it even more in Europe’s hot spots next season.
Nobody is catching Newcastle in this form.
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everton are next in action in a crunch match against fellow strugglers Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, live on Sky Sports we Monday Night Footballkick off 8pm, while newcastle host bottom club southampton on Sunday, kick off 2pm.
Everton’s remaining fixtures
May 1: leicester (A) – Premier League, kick off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
May 8: Brighton (A) – Premier League, kick off 5.30pm
May 14: Manchester City (H) – Premier League, kick off 2pm, live on Sky Sports
May 20: wolves (A) – Premier League, 3pm kick off
May 28: Bournemouth (H) – Premier League, kick off 4.30pm
Newcastle’s remaining fixtures
Apr 30: southampton (H) – Premier League, 2pm kick off
May 7: arsenal (H) – Premier League, kick off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
May 13: leeds (A) – Premier League, 3pm kick off
May 18: Brighton (H) – Premier League, kick off 7.30pm
May 22: leicester (H) – Premier League, kick off 8pm
May 28: chelsea (A) – Premier League, kick off 4.30pm