EDDIE HOWE is facing up to the biggest challenge of his career and declaring: “I know what it takes to be successful.”
Howe, in his first major interview of the new season, told SunSport about his excitement at preparing for a full campaign in charge of Newcastle.
The Toon chief is eager to reignite last season’s joyous atmosphere at flag- waving St James’ Park.
And Howe believes the grounding he got at Bournemouth has hardened him for the task ahead — managing the richest club in the world.
He dragged Newcastle up from 19th after taking over in November as Toon cruised to safety, finishing 11th and 14 points clear of the drop zone.
Some pundits have suggested the club’s super-rich Saudi Arabian owners are using Howe, who was relegated in his last job at Bournemouth, as a stop-gap manager as they build the club step by step.
But Howe is adamant that he has the ability to deliver the goods.
He said: “I have been through quite a lot in my career — and now I proudly sit here as manager of Newcastle.
“My outlook doesn’t change, I think I know what it takes to be successful — and build for success.
“The foundation is hard work and I don’t think that will ever change.
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“I am very excited about what we can try to be — but there is always that air of anticipation before any season.
“We certainly want to carry on the momentum we had.
“And, fingers crossed, we can produce a good pre-season for the players.
“All of the players deserve a lot of credit for how they pulled results around and how consistent they were in the second half of the season.
“Joelinton was one of a number of players I felt did really, really well. But you know what football’s like — you are then judged on what comes next.
For me your feet have to be on the ground, because you’re always judged on tomorrow, not what happened yesterday
“That consistency is what we are always searching for and hopefully we can hit the ground running at the start of this season.
“For me your feet have to be on the ground, because you’re always judged on tomorrow, not what happened yesterday.
“We are now preparing and working towards a very difficult Premier League season. This competition is very tough and it’s relentless.
“The schedule is really going to be crammed in this year, when you look at the World Cup in the middle of the season as well.
“We will be ready and brace ourselves for a very intense spell of football.
Hopefully we can continue to build as the transfer window moves on
“A lot can happen but we are excited to get going — and hopefully we can deliver a really good season.
“But I really do believe in the team we have. Hopefully we can continue to build as the transfer window moves on and can add some more good-quality players to the group.”
Howe will give the club every minute he physically can to push the Magpies towards Europe this season.
He said: “I certainly believe in arriving early to work, so that I can enjoy those hours, as it is the quietest time for me and allows me to focus.
“I was in the club today at an early time and I enjoy that.
I really want to fulfil their potential and take the club into a successful era
“I like working hard, it’s part of my nature. I’m in the routine of doing it — because I want to help the players.
“I really want to fulfil their potential and take the club into a successful era, that’s the motivation behind it.
“I was in the gym this morning to crunch out some weights and fitness stuff.
“I do believe in stimulating the brain and getting those endorphins running around — so that’s part of my daily routine.”
Howe was just as hard-working at Bournemouth where, in two spells, he led the Cherries from the bottom of League Two to the Premier league.
The former Cherries defender, whose career was cut short by injury, fought through many financial hardships on the south coast before the good times came.
Howe, 44, added: “I would say my football career really grounded me, not that I necessarily needed grounding.
“I would say a lot of the time that your childhood dictates your outlook, how you act and behave.
“And then, my football career being what it was, I never got lifted away from the ground.”