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Eddie Howe delighted to match a Newcastle record set by Sir Bobby Robson

The Magpies are now 15 points clear of the relegation zone after a sixth successive top-flight victory at St James’ Park.


Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe with Miguel Almiron, who scored the winner against Crystal Palace (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe with Miguel Almiron, who scored the winner against Crystal Palace (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe with Miguel Almiron, who scored the winner against Crystal Palace (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Eddie Howe admitted his delight at matching one of predecessor Sir Bobby Robson’s achievements as Newcastle took another step towards Premier League safety.

The hard-fought 1-0 win over Crystal Palace was the Magpies’ sixth successive top-flight victory at St James’ Park, the first time they have achieved that feat since April 2004 under Robson.

Head coach Howe said: “It is incredible because you’re talking about an absolute legend of the football club and quite rightly so, someone I always admired – I never met him, but someone I admired from afar greatly for everything he achieved in the game.

“He’s the benchmark, really, around anything that you try to do here and it’s great to have done that today.”

The win left Newcastle in 11th place on 40 points, and more significantly 15 clear of the relegation zone.

It was achieved in front of chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who was attending his first match since the humbling 1-0 FA Cup third-round defeat by League One Cambridge on January 8, at which point Howe’s men had only a single league victory to their name.

The 44-year-old said: “That Cambridge game was a big disappointment because we were desperate to get a win, any kind of win just to try to build some momentum.

“I have to say, the chairman came in to see me after that game and he was excellent, he really was very, very good and I know he was very good with the players.

“It’s so important in difficult moments that you keep your head and you support each other, and that’s a big thank you, really, for supporting us that day that we’ve been hopefully able to repay that support.”

The points against Palace were secured by Miguel Almiron’s superb first-half strike, aided by a committed second-half defensive display, and Howe was delighted for his match-winner.

He said: “He was excellent today, Miggy, he really was. But he’s someone that we’ve always liked. We had a team that was settled and doing very well and he found it difficult to get in.

“That didn’t change the way we think about him and he’s had a chance now in the team. I thought his goal today epitomised his performance, really, pace to get in behind and then what a finish.”

Palace boss Patrick Vieira was disappointed with his side’s opening 45 minutes as they attempted to shake off the disappointment of their FA Cup semi-final defeat at the weekend, and frustrated that they were unable to turn their domination after the break into goals.

Vieira said: “The second half was quite positive in our way. Of course, losing in the FA Cup mentally, physically, that was very challenging.

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“We have a young group of players who need to learn from those kind of games and how do you bounce back the game after it.

“We struggled to get into the game in the first half an hour. We were quite slow in our passes, we didn’t compete well enough and then of course we conceded that goal.

“In the second half, we tried our best, but we couldn’t score.”

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