Newcastle United yesterday celebrated their first UEFA Champions League spot after 20 years. Newcastle were held to a barren draw at St. James Stadium by Leicester last night. Eddie Howe, who replaced Steve Bruce 18 months ago, said their Cooperation with fans played a pivotal role in their voyage to the Champions League.
Howe understood the importance of engaging with Newcastle’s huge, passionate fan base, as he aimed to lift the club out of the shadows in which they lingered for far too long – and he paid tribute to them following Monday night’s draw with Leicester City that secured their top-four finish.
“If you’re not united with the supporter base, regardless of how you play and what you want to achieve, I don’t think it’s going to work,” Howe told Sky Sports.
“The first thing was to show how important it was that we represented the supporters and the people of the city in the right way, and that’s through sheer hard work, determination…all the core things that bring you success in any walk of life.
“We had to show the fan base that we were here to make them proud, if we could, every single game.
Newcastle United v Leicester City – Premier League
“I think the players have done that incredibly well, the challenge only gets bigger to keep that, I think the supporters here for me, even in the dark days of the first few weeks, have been absolutely incredible. They’ve stuck with us, they’ve galvanised the squad this year without a doubt.”
Kieran Trippier, Howe’s first signing at Newcastle and the club’s 2022/23 Player of the Year, said, “It means everything. I took a risk when I first arrived but I always believed in every decision I made.
“We’ve bounced back well, we’ve recovered well. The club has been through a tough moment but now we’re reaping the rewards.”
For Academy graduate Sean Longstaff, Newcastle’s return to the big time is a dream come true.
“I can’t put it into words to be honest,” he said. “If you told us two years ago this was going to happen, we wouldn’t have believed you.
“We’ve beaten Juventus here 1-0 [in the Champions League], you see it on old DVDs. To be a part of this, I’m buzzing.”
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