EDDIE HOWE is happy to see his Newcastle United side embracing the spirit of Kevin Keegan’s ‘Entertainers’ – but wants his team to carve out a winning identity of their own.

Keegan’s swashbuckling Newcastle side became synonymous with 4-3 scorelines, and Howe’s current crop followed in their footsteps in thrilling fashion this afternoon as they overturned a two-goal deficit to claim a 4-3 win over West Ham.

The victory breathed new life into the Magpies’ hopes of qualifying for Europe in the final two months of the season, but while Howe is happy to be emulating Keegan’s celebrated side, he is happy to leave the ‘Entertainers’ tag to one side as long as his side is winning.


“I always say we're here to attack and my management philosophy has always been that first,” said the Newcastle head coach, whose side at back at St James’ on Tuesday when they host Everton. “I say first, that's probably not right, but I've always wanted to produce a team that is proactive rather than reactive.

“I want to the type of football that I enjoy watching. With that, you have to accept that you will be maybe more open than a team that sets up a totally different way, that's a bit more pragmatic, but I believe that's the best chance for us to have long-term success here.

“I've got no problem with entertaining. I'd prefer another word because that's been done and rightly Kevin's team was nicknamed The Entertainers. I think we would give them that tag and remember that team fondly.

“But we want to win games and trophies playing this way. I think we can, although of course, the goals we are conceding are a concern for us.”

Today’s victory was the first time Newcastle have come back from a losing position to claim a win this season, with Howe happy to see a return of the kind of spirit and resilience that was such a big part of his side’s success last term.

“It's important,” he said. “That needs to be part of us, it really does. It hasn't been there enough this season. That's been a disappointment and I don't know why that's not been us on a regular basis because we do have so many goals in the team, you can see that.

“But sometimes you need to do it to believe you can do it on a more regular basis. Hopefully, that's a turning point for us in that respect.”