NEWCASTLE: Newcastle United are having to deal with increased expectations this season, according to Eddie Howe, with the head coach admitting the Magpies’ Premier League start has yet to live up to his own high standards.
Howe’s men have lost just one of their opening seven games this season, including six played in the Premier League.
However, just one of those six top-flight games ended in victory, with four draws and a late loss to Liverpool completing the set.
“I’m not happy with it. I want more points, I want to win every game,” said Howe when discussing the Magpies’ 2022/23 campaign so far.
“There’s always swings and roundabouts, it never always goes for you, but I thought we should have got something from Liverpool. There’s more points we’ve left out there, but it’s up to us to improve those slight margins.
“I’m sure expectations have been raised, although certainly not by me or anyone connected internally. I think we’ve just tried to go about our business in the way that we feel benefits the team and improves the team,” he said.
“Obviously, when you sign players for transfer fees, that creates a buzz and excitement, and rightly so. But we just have to create an environment where the players are able to perform and give their best under the most minimal pressure possible.”
One of the bright sparks for United this season has been the emergence of youngster Elliot Anderson.
The 19-year-old Geordie made his first Premier League appearance under Howe in the 1-1 draw at Wolves, hitting the bar in the closing stages. He had a transformative impact when used off the bench by Howe again against Crystal Palace last weekend, although for all his enterprising play, he could not unlock the door for the Magpies.
“I thought he was very bright,” said Howe of Anderson.
“We brought him on the left, as I thought our midfield three were doing well at that moment in the game and I didn’t want to disrupt their rhythm. Sometimes you make a change to an area that can have a negative effect, so I put him wide. It’s an area he can play very well in.
“Certainly his chopping and turning in the box was very impressive. He put a couple of lovely balls in with his left foot that we probably should have done better with.
“Very pleased with Elliot. Again, a home game, he comes on with pressure on him. He wants the ball in every moment and that’s a big positive to take.”
Anderson, speaking to nufc.co.uk, said that he believes three points, as well as goals and assists for himself, are just around the corner.
“For me, I’m trying to get that first goal and hoping it comes soon so I can start kicking on from there,” said the player who spent last season on loan at then League Two Bristol Rovers.
“I’m confident in the lads to get three points in the near future. You can see when we’ve picked up draws, everyone is fighting very hard for the win and I think that victory will come soon.
“The defending has been very good, and we just need to be a bit more clinical and have that cutting edge when taking our chances in front of goal.”
He added: “I’ve been trying to earn the gaffer’s trust in putting me on and hoping I can make that difference. I thought I played well, but I think I was just missing that goal or assist to try to change the game.”
Meanwhile, club co-owner Amanda Staveley has revealed she suffered a sleepless night after VAR ruled out a potential United winner against Palace last weekend.
This week Magpies chiefs filed an official complaint with Professional Game Match Officials Limited, which is in charge of setting refereeing standards in the English football pyramid.
“I had a sleepless night,” Staveley told Tyneside Life.
“We should have won, I hated the VAR decision. Obviously that’s something we’re dealing with, it seems to be a consistent theme of the last few games. But we are dealing with that, talking to officials and we’re trying to get something that we think will work.”