On the fans, Howe said: "The relationship we've quickly built with the supporters is really special. I thought they were excellent today.
"It’s an amazing feeling to get that first win for them for all they’ve given us in the last few weeks."
A first win, and a first clean sheet
Today definitely felt like a turning point on Tyneside, with a first win and first clean sheet arriving all in one afternoon.
A sense of relief was felt around St James' Park once the final whistle had blown – and Howe felt a weight had been lifted off his shoulders too.
"It's a mixture of emotions. Definitely relief but I'm proud of the team," he said.
"It was a difficult game physically but I thought we defended very well.
"We started quite slowly but there were spells in the second-half when I thought we were excellent."
On 'excellent' Fabian Schar
Fabian Schar has been one of a few Toon players that have benefitted massively by Howe's arrival on Tyneside after he was exiled from the starting lineup for the majority of the time under former boss Steve Bruce.
Howe was full of praise for the Swiss international: "Fabian has been excellent.
"I've been an admirer of his for a long time and he fits mould of what I want in a centre-back.
"The pleasing thing in the last two games has been his defensive resilience and mentality."
One game at a time
"I try not to look at groups of fixtures," he said:
"It’s a waste of energy and time – we’ll look at the first one.
"We’re really boosted by the win and hopefully it will give us some confidence and positive momentum going into Leicester."
'I want the players to enjoy winning'
This win will be celebrated long into the night by Magpies supporters, it has been nearly seven months since the last time they tasted victory.
Howe says he will not go as far as popping out the champagne, but encourages his players to enjoy that winning feeling.
He said: "I will allow myself tonight to be pleased and content with today and the preparations in the last week.
"I want the players to enjoy winning and I want them to enjoy this moment and work hard to make it happen again soon."