Eddie Howe hails Newcastle style in Forest triumph but is still seeking that magic player
Eddie Howe was delighted with how his Newcastle side stuck to their guns to beat Nottingham Forest but admits they are still looking for one marquee player.
The Magpies kicked off their 2022-2023 campaign with a 2-0 victory over newly-promoted Forest at St James’ Park. After a goalless first half, defender Fabian Schar found the net with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box. And with 12 minutes left on the watch, Callum Wilson made sure of the points.
The 30-year-old striker’s flick from Joelinton’s cross was too good for Forest keeper Dean Henderson. Having rallied from the depths of despair last season to finish 11th, much is expected of the north-east outfit this term.
But they had to work hard to claim all three points. Howe was pleased with what he witnessed and hopes it can act as a springboard for the coming months.
“I think today’s performance would be a great example of where we want the team to be on a consistent basis,” he said. “As I keep saying, we’re in a difficult league, and every team we play will set up to try to stop us. You have a battle to try to impose your style on the opposition, and today, I thought we did that well.”
Newcastle dominated possession but struggled to get past a resolute Forest rearguard until Schar’s stunner. And Howe has urged his charges to keep up the momentum.
“We saw our style come out, and although there’s no guarantee that will be a constant theme, I want it to be,” he added. “It’s what we’ll be working towards, but every game is different. You have to find a way to win sometimes, and I have no problem with winning ugly. Whatever it takes.”
The Saudi-backed takeover has seen many new faces at the club. Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett have arrived since the end of last season.
However, there is still a sense that they may be a bit light in the attacking areas, despite the emergence of Bruno Guimaraes.
Fans crave a world-class striker or attacking midfielder. And Howe made it clear that he is far from done with his summer recruitment.
“We’ve got a few weeks left to try to get the right player that will make a difference for us,” he added.
The match was becoming frustrating for the home faithful until Schar’s wonder strike. And Howe confessed that he had not seen that coming from the central defender.
“It was an incredible strike, from a player who does the unconventional,” he continued. “A centre-back shooting from that range? I probably wouldn’t have reached if it was me playing.
“He’s capable of doing things like and producing special moments. I was questioning his decision to hit it, but I was delighted when it hit the net.”