ALLAN SAINT-MAXIMIN claims he has already seen enough from Eddie Howe to convince him that Newcastle’s new head coach will bring about a marked improvement in his side’s attacking play.

However, the Magpies forward also concedes that the club will be unable to shake off their relegation worries if they continue to defend as poorly as they did in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Brentford.

The fruits of Howe’s attacking work were evident as Newcastle recorded a season-high 23 shots at goal at the weekend, nine of which were on target, and scored three goals in a game for the first time this campaign.

Their problems, however, were at the other end, as they conceded three goals for the third home game in succession, a record that goes a long way to explaining why they find themselves at the foot of the table.

“He’s (Howe) a great coach,” said Saint-Maximin. “For me, I don’t need to be with him for one year to know if he’s a good coach or not. He’s a good coach, and they have a nice philosophy and nice ideas.

“We can see in the first game, we played more in attack and had more chances to score, and it was more difficult for the other team to defend against us. We just have to keep going like this, and concede less goals, and I’m sure we are going to win more games.

“With the way we played, for every defence, it can be a difficult game. But when we score, we have to do the best things and stay together and not concede a goal. If we score, and they score again, and we score, and they score again, it’s impossible to win a game like this.”

Saint-Maximin scored Newcastle’s third goal, converting Ryan Fraser’s cross with a first-time volley, and having spent most of the 1-1 draw at Brighton that preceded the international break defending, the Frenchman was delighted to have been part of a team that was given a much more attack-minded brief.

“It’s always easier for me as a striker when I have more of the ball and we have more possession, and when we try to play forwards,” he said, in an interview with NUFC TV. “If you see the last game against Brighton, I got no shots and had to defend all the game for the team.

“Now, we defend together and attack together, and I have more chance to score. I hope I keep doing the same, doing my best to make assists and score goals because I know it’s the only way to help my team at the moment.”