Eddie Howe’s bottom table at Newcastle despite six-goal draw with Brentford


In the 183 days spent at the Linton Travel Tavern by Alan Partridge, no hotel has been able to accommodate such a tortured soul.

Forced to go through procedures in his suite at the corner of St James’ Park after contracting Covid – “the only positive we’ve had in years”, lamented one supporter – Eddie Howe could be forgiven for quickly turning to the mini-bar for comfort because the scale of the task entrusted to him was laid bare during his first match.

Alan Pardew remains the last Newcastle manager to start with a win 11 years ago, but on the bright side what the hosts lacked in organization and frankly talent they made up for in character. On two occasions, they came from behind to get a draw thanks to a late volley by Allan Saint-Maximin, Howe initiating the introduction from the bench of Ryan Fraser who provided the cross for the equalizer.

This denied Brentford a first win here since 1934, but Newcastle remain the only winless team in the division after 12 games and a point was not enough to keep Howe’s side from falling to the bottom of the Premier League, five points from safety after Norwich City won again.

Jason Tindall was patrolling the technical area in Howe’s absence and was in constant contact with his exiled boss during the match. The Newcastle assistant manager said: “I was in contact with Eddie before and during the game. At 3-2 we had a decision to make. We were in dialogue with him, he’s the manager and he does the last call so it takes a lot of credit for this substitution.

“To be honest it wasn’t the outcome we wanted but there are a lot of positives to be learned from the game and overall it’s a step in the right direction. We played on the front foot. and with real intensity and another day with the chances that we have created we continue to win the game.

“At this point we can’t focus on the standings, we focus on the positives to take from the game and look to the next one.”

In total, there were 33 efforts on goal as the fun started early in front of Newcastle president Yasir Al-Rumayyan. The teams traded goals in under 76 seconds as Jamaal Lascelles rose above Vitaly Janelt to regain Matt Ritchie’s corner in the 10th minute. The jubilant mood was quickly interrupted when Karl Darlow inexplicably allowed a far from threatening angle practice of Ivan Toney through him and into the net.

Shown at the gate at St James’ Park in 2018, the Brentford striker’s badge kiss celebrations have been singled out, as years of pent-up frustration have been unleashed at a significantly unappreciated Gallowgate End.


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