Magpies making home games a pleasure again
When Newcastle United moved into a new era of ownership in late 2021 and when the new regime replaced departing manager Steve Bruce with Eddie Howe soon after the takeover was completed, there was certainly renewed hope for the future.
St James’ Park had become a good place to play for the opposition, such was the despondent atmosphere that had festered within the fanbase for too long. The mood was lifted as the changes were implemented but with the team still struggling at the foot of the table the overriding opinion was that survival this season would still be difficult.
The change didn’t happen overnight, Howe took over in November and home draws against Brentford and Norwich did little to allay the concerns. Since a somewhat embarrassing FA Cup exit at home to League One Cambridge United in January however, results, especially at home have been transformed.
Miguel Almiron’s sublime goal clinched a 1-0 win over FA Cup semi-finalists Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening. That was Newcastle’s 6th home win in succession, a run which sees them now 12 points clear of the relegation zone and within touching distance of the top half of the table, a position that seemed unthinkable when all that mattered was avoiding the drop when Howe arrived.
Yes, the investment that PIF and the new ownership model supplied in the January transfer market has clearly helped but the new players have helped lift a squad that has new belief, spurred on by a reinvigorated home support. The doom and gloom as the club stumbled to 6 home wins in total last season and no wins from the first 7 games at St James’ Park this campaign seems like a lifetime ago.
The Magpies have 40 points with 5 games remaining. Another 6 points would give them their biggest top flight points total since 2014.