Ahead of Newcastle United’s Premier League visit of Brentford on Saturday afternoon, head coach Eddie Howe admitted “the club’s come a long way” since the completion of the takeover one year ago.
The Magpies return to St. James’ Park, aiming for back-to-back Premier League victories after an impressive 4-1 away win against Fulham last weekend, and Howe hinted Allan Saint-Maximin could return from a hamstring injury, sustained during a 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers in August, to face Thomas Frank’s Bees (kick-off 3pm BST).
Alexander Isak looks set to miss this weekend’s game, with the Swedish forward continuing his recovery from a thigh injury picked up on international duty while Joelinton, an unused substitute against the Cottagers, could be reinstated into the starting eleven.
READ ALSO: Arteta urges Saliba to focus on himself amid Van Dijk comparisons
With the club marking the one-year anniversary of the takeover on Friday, Howe was full of praise for the work completed on and off the pitch within the past 12 months.
Here’s some of the key points addressed by the United boss in his pre-match media briefing on Friday morning…
On the anniversary of the club’s takeover:
“The club’s come a long way. The positivity, first and foremost, is what hit me coming into the club and everyone connected with the club in terms of the takeover and what may lie ahead for the club in the future.
“That positivity is still there and I think that’s a very difficult thing to keep. Everyone behind the scenes has done a very good job in terms of putting the building blocks in place for what the club needs for long-term success.
“It’s hugely important because without those structures in place, the long-term success isn’t going to happen. First of all, you need good people in the right positions with a long-term plan and they need the freedom to execute that.
“Everyone is under pressure but not consistent pressure everyday because you have to make the right decisions for the long-term. There’s a lot of work going on behind-the-scenes to improve everything that we deliver for our current players and the players we’ll have as we continue to exist. I’m very positive about the future.”