Newcastle manager Eddie Howe is taking nothing for granted despite a return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years looking all the more likely after a 4-1 win at Everton.
Callum Wilson scored his seventh and eighth goals in six matches against the Toffees, with Joelinton and substitute Jacob Murphy adding the others as the Magpies made it 10 goals in their last two matches.
Victory opened up an eight-point gap to fifth place but Howe, whose side thrashed Tottenham 6-1 on Sunday, is refusing to get ahead of himself.
“We know nothing is taken for granted from our perspective,” said Howe. “It puts us in a lot stronger position. To get six points from Tottenham and Everton is a great return.
“It was always going to be a difficult game for us but we handled the occasion well in a hostile environment.
“The first goal was going to be crucial. It was probably our best move and it came at a good time for us.
“The confidence was there and it was evident in the second half, maybe a bit of the edge of the game had gone but I think we had to earn the right to get to that point because Everton put us under pressure in the first half.”
Dyche: We have to correct weak response quickly
Everton suffered their heaviest home league defeat to Newcastle since Boxing Day 1933, when they lost 7-3 in a top-flight encounter.
Since keeping a clean sheet in two of their first three Premier League games under Sean Dyche, the Toffees have only avoided conceding twice in their last 10 league matches.
It is hard to see where Everton go from here. Newcastle made the task of escaping relegation all the more difficult. By full-time, there were vast swathes of blue seats vacated by demoralised souls.
When asked if he feared he had lost the supporters following this damaging set-back, Dyche responded: “The fans have been amazing. I don’t think so. It’s their choice but I think they’ll back us until the end of the season.
“I can’t decide for 40,000 people but I get a feel that’s not the case.”
Dyche added: “I’m very disappointed in the end but in the first half I thought my team did everything I wanted other than the goal we conceded.
“We mixed up our play, there was energy in our pressing. Other than the goal, which I felt we could’ve prevented earlier in the move.
“We were as strong as we’ve been. It wasn’t that long ago that Newcastle were being booed by their own fans but now they’re as free as a bird. That has to be earned, and we have to earn it pretty quickly.
“We took the game on and I thought in the first half we had been as strong as we have been. We went under too easily after the second goal. You can’t against good sides like Newcastle.
“I thought it was a very strong first-half performance. We kept them to not many chances but they are a good outfit and they kept going and got a second goal and the reaction to that was not good enough.
“We are not finding the big moments in the final third. It is still a work in progress. Wilson whacks one in the corner, no thought, they are just playing with freedom and we need to find that freedom.
“As soon as the second goal went in, which was a really poor goal defensively, we let the game get away. We did it as well against Fulham and we have to correct that very quickly
“We have to park this one quickly and clear our minds going into the next one.”
Newcastle prey on Everton’s flimsy confidence
Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds:
Dyche says his players have to park this result, but there were plenty of encouraging signs in the opening half as Dwight McNeil, Alex Iwobi, Abdoulaye Doucure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin pressed well from the front.
But, like against Fulham in the 3-1 home defeat earlier this month, Everton collapsed in the second period.
It has not been this perilous since the last time the club were relegated in 1951. On Thursday, they started a matchday in the bottom two having played at least 32 league games for the first time since April of that year.
It is a time for togetherness and for the team to be galvanised, as it was 12 months ago, when these supporters dragged their side over the line. Ticker tape and flares went up outside the ground as the team bus arrived at 6pm to a cacophony of sound and fury. A sea of blue from the top of Spellow Lane by the Park End and down Goodison Road.
Hanging from above the famous Hot Wot were draped two banners; one charting the nine league titles, five FA Cup and a Cup Winners’ Cup. Nil Satis Nisi Optimium and perhaps the modern take on that Latin phrase on the second: Everton The Gear. But Newcastle came, fronted up and dismantled their inferior opponents.
Two Geordie supporters filmed tumbling down a hill as they caught their coach to Merseyside went viral during the day, but it has been a far smoother journey for Eddie Howe’s side throughout this campaign.
Monday’s trip to Leicester, immediately above Everton in 18th, now becomes a must-win game as with Manchester City one of their two remaining home fixtures, Dyche’s side cannot rely on the power of Goodison to get them over the line to extend a 69-year stay in the top flight.
But Newcastle, having experienced their own period in the doldrums of the Championship, have no such worries as an appearance in Europe’s elite competition proper for the first time since 2003 edges ever closer having scored 10 goals in their last two matches.
Nobody catching Newcastle in this form
Sky Sports’ Keith Downie at Goodison Park:
Newcastle’s bid for Champions League football continues to strengthen. The away fans loved every minute of the second half at Goodison Park.
This was a perfect away display. An aggregate scoreline of 10-2 for Newcastle in four days. It’s their most goals in consecutive matches in the competition since September 1999.
Eddie Howe was asked about the number of points required for Champions League qualification, and said: “I’d say it’s a waste of time getting your calculators out, but if you want to do it then that’s fine.”
Newcastle frustrated the life out of Everton in the first half, and then unleashed the pace and power on them second 45.
Alex Isak came on and outdid Joe Willock on the assist stakes with a stunning set up for Jacob Murphy to cap another fine win on the road.
Anthony Gordon came on late on but half the Everton fans had left by that point. The substitutions seem to make the team stronger and Champions League qualification is now three points closer.
I really fear for Everton and their survival hopes. They’re seriously lacking in quality and this could be a damaging defeat.
But nobody is catching Newcastle in this form.
Everton are next in action in a crunch match against fellow strugglers Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, live on Sky Sports on Monday Night Football, kick-off 8pm, while Newcastle host bottom-club Southampton on Sunday, kick-off 2pm.
Everton’s remaining fixtures
May 1: Leicester (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
May 8: Brighton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm
May 14: Man City (H) – Premier League, kick-off 2pm, live on Sky Sports
May 20: Wolves (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 28: Bournemouth (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
Newcastle’s remaining fixtures
April 30: Southampton (H) – Premier League, kick-off 2pm
May 7: Arsenal (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
May 13: Leeds (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 18: Brighton (H) – Premier League, kick-off 7.30pm
May 22: Leicester (H) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm
May 28: Chelsea (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
Source : https://www.skysports.com/football/news/12040/12867941/newcastle-boss-eddie-howe-not-taking-anything-for-granted-in-champions-league-pursuit?rand=3094