Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has hit back at claims that Newcastle have bought their way out of Premier League relegation trouble.
The Magpies, bankrolled by Amanda Staveley’s 80 per cent Saudi-backed consortium, invested more than £90million in Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Dan Burn and Bruno Guimaraes, as well as loan signing Matt Targett, in January.
A run of 10 wins in 14 league outings in the immediate aftermath of those new arrivals saw the club climb clear of the bottom three, leaving supporters energised by Mike Ashley’s departure dreaming of what might be while critics suggested salvation was inevitable given their spending power.
However, on the eve of Monday night’s clash with Arsenal, Howe said: “The easy thing is to talk about money. It is not what has got us here.
“January helped massively and the money helped the team, and the players who came in made a huge difference. But I don’t think it was the reason we did very well.
“You look at the St James’ Park atmosphere again, a crowd in a place where they are proud of the team and seeing a team giving everything to try and win a game.
“It has been great to see and experience. It has been electric and the crowd has helped us get points. A key part of the future is to try to keep that dynamic as strong as it is now.”
For all that Burn, Targett, Wood and in particular Guimaraes have made major impacts – Trippier did too before a fractured metatarsal sidelined him after just five appearances – the improvement individually in some of the men they joined at St James’ Park and collectively as a team has been marked under Howe.
Emil Krafth, Fabian Schar, Ryan Fraser and spectacularly Joelinton have all performed admirably to dispel the myth that money alone has made the difference.
Howe said: “I want the players to get the credit for their performances. The team has come together and fought for every point, and I don’t think money gives you that.”