Eddie Howe worked a minor miracle last season.
The man who took Bournemouth from the brink of falling into non-league, right through to the Premier League, taking on an epic challenge at Newcastle United.
Survival was the brief last season and he far exceeded it, Eddie Howe overseeing the third best form in the Premier League in the final 19 games.
Beating Nottingham Forest with a dominant display the perfect start this time…
Eddie Howe a happy man after that opening day performance:
“We needed to be patient.
“It was a brilliant performance from us, from start to finish.
“At half-time the game was still very much in the balance, as we still hadn’t scored and Forest had defended well.
“Despite our dominance, we hadn’t scored. Nottingham Forest had defended well and we hadn’t been clinical enough in certain moments, so the main aspect of my (half-time) team talk was to make sure that we didn’t lose our discipline and search for that goal in a disjointed way.
“Thankfully we didn’t.
“We got rewarded though in the end for that patience.”
On Fabian Schar goal:
“It was an incredible strike from a player that does the unconventional, really.
“A centre-back shooting from that range.
“I probably wouldn’t have reached it if that was me playing, but he’s capable of doing things like that, special moments.
“I was questioning his decision as he lined up to hit it, because we had created a number of chances and hadn’t taken them, and it took a long-range goal to get us going.”
On Callum Wilson strike:
“His finish today was just pure Callum.
“An excellent finish from a very difficult angle and that’s what he’ll bring.”
On signing a new NUFC contract:
“Absolutely delighted to do so.
“Very grateful for the opportunity given to me by the owners of the football club to come here and manage in the first place.
“Then for them to reward me and my team with this contract is greatly appreciated from my side.
“I didn’t hesitate about signing the deal.
“I’m loving every moment of being Newcastle manager.
“I’m going to give it my all to make it a success.”
After asked about it, Eddie Howe refusing to reveal how long his new contract is for:
“It is a ‘long-term’ deal, that was the wording.”
“A very, very, very difficult decision (on who to play against Forest).
“I feel that I have got three quality goalkeepers to pick from in Karl (Darlow), Nick (Pope) and Martin (Dubravka).
“Martin was excellent last season and certainly…my decision to pick Nick (against Forest) wasn’t a reflection on him (Martin Dubravka) or his abilities, or my thoughts on him.
“It’s more a reflection on Nick, how good I think he is.
“I thought he was excellent with his ability to come for high crosses.
“I thought he commanded his box really well, he kicked well, so I was really pleased.
“He didn’t have a lot to do with his hands. That’s a good sign.
“However, there’s competition in that position.”
Eddie Howe asked if any of his four goalkeepers (including Mark Gillespie) might leave this summer:
“It’s too early to say.
“I don’t know yet.
“I don’t want anyone to leave.
“However, I’m well aware that four is a difficult number to carry.
“My wish would be to do that, but obviously, I’ve got to think of the players as well.
“Hopefully we make the right decision.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Saturday 6 August 3pm
Schar 58, Wilson 78
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Possession was Forest 38% (35%) Newcastle 62% (65%)
Total shots were Forest 5 (3) Newcastle 23 (14)
Shots on target were Forest 0 (0) Newcastle 10 (6)
Corners were Forest 1 (0) Newcastle 11 (7)
Referee: Simon Hooper
Attendance: 52,245 (Forest 3,000)
Pope, Trippier, Schar, Burn, Targett, Willock (Sean Longstaff 80), Bruno (Botman 90+3), Joelinton, Almiron (Fraser 81), Wilson (Wood 90), Saint-Maximin (Murphy 90)
Dubravka, Dummett, Ritchie, Anderson
(Steve Cooper refreshingly honest as he reflects on losing to a dominant Newcastle United – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Saturday’s excellent victory – Read HERE)
(Alan Shearer loving Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Salutes goalscorers and ‘Fantastic’ man of the match – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Dominant classy opening day for United, just look at these stats – Read HERE)