EDDIE HOWE admits he and his assistant, Jason Tindall, will have to modify their behaviour on the touchline this season to avoid falling foul of the Premier League’s new refereeing directives.

Tindall’s regular appearances alongside Howe in the technical area made him something of a cult figure last season, with the Magpies duo spending large amounts of time standing alongside each other on the touchline, barking out instructions to the players on the field.

Premier League officials have been instructed to clamp down in a number of different areas this season, with the policing of the technical area set to be a key focus.


Top-flight rules dictate that only one coach should be present in the technical area at any one time, and while a blind eye has previously been turned to clubs breaching the regulation, this season, any infringements will result in an automatic yellow card. Similarly, managers who leave the technical area will also be hit with harsher penalties.

“It’s strange that it’s been brought in for this season,” said Howe, ahead of this afternoon’s season-opener against Aston Villa. “From our perspective, that’s a blow because we just work naturally together.

“There’s not necessarily been a big plan of ours at the start of our careers to work in the way that we do, it’s just naturally evolved. We’ve always had that way when the game is going on, I want to help the players as much as I can, and I hope I help them rather than hinder them by being close to them.

“I try to be quite active and vocal, and then naturally Jason joins in. There’s certain aspects of the game that I ask him to concentrate on, and in that moment, he will then try to help the players too.

“Now, only one of us can do it, so it’s just something we’re going to have to navigate. I think you’ll see quite a bit of rotation from us both on the sidelines.”

Time-wasting has been another key focus of the new refereeing directives, with officials now instructed to add on the full amount of time that is lost because of stoppages, substitutions or goal celebrations.

A number of Championship matches went well beyond the 100-minute mark last weekend, with the Community Shield at Wembley seeing 13 minutes of additional time added on at the end of the second half.

A number of players and managers have criticised how long games are lasting, with Howe also harbouring reservations about the way in which the rules are now being administered.

“It’s new, and I think anything new takes time to adjust to,” said Howe. “I wouldn’t say I’m massively for it, to be honest. I’m for the game flowing and being managed correctly, and removing the needless stoppages and the gamesmanship which, let’s be honest, we all do.

“I think there’s been a push in the right direction to try to make the game quicker, but the stoppage time, I’m a little bit uncomfortable with because it extends the game. Now, a 90-minute game turns into a 100-minute game potentially, and as we’ve all seen, the demand on players is already higher than it’s ever been.”