Leicester City 0-3 Newcastle: Eddie Howe allowing Magpies fans to ‘dream’

26 December 2022 0 By Total Football News

“I have no problem with the supporters dreaming of what we can achieve.”

Eddie Howe may be allowing the Newcastle faithful to let their imaginations run wild, but the Magpies boss is remaining grounded for now.

Newcastle sit second and are the Premier League’s form team after winning six games in a row for the first time in more than 10 years, following a comfortable 3-0 victory at Leicester City on Monday.

The Magpies are fresher than their nearest rivals, with only five of their players on international duty at the World Cup. Of the 20 top-flight sides, Crystal Palace (453) and Southampton (317) had fewer minutes on the pitch for their players in Qatar than Howe’s men.

Perhaps that lack of action at the tournament typified their blistering start at King Power Stadium as Chris Wood opened the scoring in under two minutes with a thumping penalty.

The visitors doubled their lead inside seven minutes – the earliest they had been 2-0 up in a Premier League game since January 2007 – when Miguel Almiron continued his impressive scoring run with his fifth goal in his last six league games.

Leicester had no answer to the Magpies’ clinical edge and when Joelinton powered in the third with his head, the three points were effectively sealed.

And while the goals are flying in at one end, they continue to be kept out at the other. No team have conceded fewer (11) in the top flight.

“We can do anything,” Howe told Match of the Day.

“The season is still young enough for all possibilities to exist for us. I want the fans to believe we can do anything.

“Coming here knowing how difficult it was going to be, the start was really important to us. The first half an hour, we were excellent. It’s a trademark goal for Miggy [Miguel Almiron] and a really good team move.

“Leicester showed their quality in the second half and it was difficult to get the ball. I was keen for us to go on and control the game more but I do think we minimised their threat.

“Credit to the team, it’s another clean sheet and that’s important.”

Newcastle maintain pre-World Cup form

Victory for the visitors means they are right in the thick of the title race, albeit sandwiched between leaders Arsenal and Manchester City, who have both played two fewer games.

They have not finished as high as second in the Premier League since 1997 but even Howe will be happy for his fans to believe they can go one better this time around.

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer, speaking on Match of the Day, said: “It was a superb performance. The improvement in a lot of players that were there before Eddie Howe…

“He deserves great credit, what a job he is doing – and second in the Premier League!”

Former England winger and ex-Newcastle coach Steve Stone told BBC Radio 5 Live. “As a Newcastle fan, watching this you would be absolutely delighted.

“You would have worried about whether they could keep the momentum going after the World Cup break but they absolutely have.”

Jonjo Shelvey remains a long-term injury absentee, but with Allan-Saint Maximin continuing his return to action from the bench and Callum Wilson recovering from an illness, Newcastle are blessed with a relatively clean bill of health.

And if they needed further inspiration, they would have to look no further than Monday’s well-beaten opponents Leicester, who claimed the most unlikely of English titles, at 5,000-1 odds, in 2016.

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