While fans left St James’ Park feeling disappointed yesterday following a draw with West Ham, Eddie Howe opted to look on the positive side of things.
Speaking to the media after the game, Howe said: “I have to make sure the players don’t overreact to what is a point. People may say it’s a disappointment, but it depends on what context you’re looking at it in. You can see four draws in five or you can see 16 games unbeaten.” (from The Chronicle)
That’s a record-breaking stat that Howe has chosen to point out there: unbeaten in 16 league games. That’s a phenomenal achievement at the best of times, but especially considering how close we were to once again losing our Premier League status a mere year ago.
Lucas Paqueta’s goal was also the first league goal we’ve shipped since November which is another amazing stat, of course, when you take into account the break for the World Cup it’s not AS impressive but it is still an achievement.
As Howe himself said: “If you can’t win, you don’t lose, and we’ve done that very well. We’ve picked up vital points in this run.
“Yes, we haven’t won the games in the last few that we would have liked, but it’s never going to be plain sailing. We were never going to win every game. It’s such a competitive league, the games are so difficult.” (from ITV)
It’s great to be in a position where we can moan about draws not being wins, but we have to be careful that it doesn’t become a sense of entitlement. Even the best teams drop points, it’s what makes the game so great. It’s how we react to those dropped points or those runs of poor form that really defines us as a club. It feels like Eddie Howe has got that mentality nailed down, now it just needs to be transferred to the players and to the fans. We can’t let a poor game take the wind out of our sails, and so far, the Toon Army has done an excellent job of staying behind the team even when things aren’t going to plan, which just emphasises the point that this club has truly turned a corner.