EDDIE HOWE accepts his Newcastle United side will have to rewrite the record books if they are to remain in the Premier League this season – but the Magpies head coach is adamant his players are capable of making history.

Newcastle head into this afternoon’s home game with fellow strugglers Burnley having failed to win any of their opening 14 league matches.

Only three previous Premier League clubs have gone 14 games from the start of the season without a win – Swindon Town, QPR and Sheffield United – and all three were relegated at the end of the campaign.

Despite having become the richest club in the world when Amanda Staveley completed her Saudi Arabia-backed takeover earlier this autumn, Newcastle are now odds-on with the vast majority of bookmakers to suffer the same fate.

Howe admits he and his players are staring down the barrel, but the recently-appointed boss insists he has seen enough in his opening month at the helm to convince him that survival is a realistic aim.

When asked if he was confident Newcastle could avoid the drop despite their dreadful start, he said: “Yes, I am. I’m realistic, but I’m also very, very positive.

“I know it’s going to be extremely difficult – if no team has done it, there’s a reason why they haven’t done it. That’s because it’s incredibly tough.

“But why not be the first? That’s always been my mindset. Why not change history? That’s what we’re going to have to do. We’re going to have to do it the hard way, but we’re more than capable.”

Howe has been working to improve the leadership network within his squad in the last couple of weeks, with the creation of a ‘leadership group’ a key part of his restructuring.

“We’ve created a leadership group within the squad,” he revealed. “That’s something we’ve really worked hard on since we’ve come in, in terms of building leaders within the team and allowing those leaders to really influence the group.”