Eddie Howe attempts to evoke the spirit of Sir Bobby Robson

Eddie Howe attempts to evoke the spirit of Sir Bobby Robson as he looks to guide Newcastle 15 points clear of the drop zone and match the Toon legend’s record of six consecutive home victories

  • Eddie Howe has guided Newcastle to the brink of safety with convincing run
  • Newcastle were in the bottom three at Christmas and have since pulled away 
  • Would match the club’s best run of home form for over 18 years 

Eddie Howe has evoked the spirit of Sir Bobby Robson in his attempt to guide Newcastle to their best run of Premier League form at St James’ Park for 18 years.

Victory against Crystal Palace tonight would put Howe’s side 15 points clear of the relegation zone and match the six consecutive home wins under Sir Bobby in 2004.

Howe has won six and lost just one of his 11 league games at St James’ Park. He said: ‘To make it six straight wins would be incredible for us. Anything related to Sir Bobby’s name and matching one of his milestones would be brilliant.

Sir Bobby Robson with Alan Shearer in 2004 – Newcastle’s best home run had come that year

‘Playing at home is a privilege with the atmosphere generated by the fans. They’ve really helped us with this run and we owe them a big thank you for sticking with us.

‘We’re not the finished article. We’re at the very early stages of trying to build our style but, most importantly, the supporters see us giving everything to try to achieve a positive result.

‘The challenge now is to build on the standards we have set.’

The former manager is one of the most revered figures on Tyneside after his success

Newcastle would reach the 40-point safety mark with victory over Patrick Vieira’s beaten FA Cup semi-finalists. It is a far cry from their position when Howe took charge in November, at which point Newcastle were second from bottom after taking five points from their first 11 games.

The head coach pinpointed January’s 1-0 win at Leeds and the subsequent week-long winter break in Saudi Arabia, home to the club’s owners, as a watershed moment in their fight for survival.

Newcastle have won eight of their last 12 league games and Howe added: ‘Looking back, that was a turning point for us.

Eddie Howe has overseen something of a revolution at Newcastle dragging them to safety

Eddie Howe’s side won late on against Leicester to take them ever closer to safety

‘We went to Saudi Arabia after the win at Leeds, which was a brilliant trip for the group. We came back in a much better place. To get that result before we left, to keep a clean sheet away from home and the performance was a good one.

‘That was a massive, massive result for us that’s led to the good run of form since.’

Newcastle v Crystal Palace, 7.45pm, St James’ Park, live updates on BBC 5 Live.

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