Eddie Howe praised Newcastle's performance and victory over Arsenal today at St James' Park in a post-match interview on Sky Sports, highlighting in particular the mentality and fighting spirit his players showed throughout the game.
"It was a really tough game, but a massive win. Full credit to the players for what they gave today. I thought that was a really battling performance. I thought Arsenal were good, I thought we were good. But maybe not in the ways we're both known. It was a real midfield scrap, a lot of physicality and a lot of duels. Thankfully we came out on top."
"Our open play shape, defensively was very good."
"I thought we nullified them [Arsenal], we didn't really give them many clear-cut chances today"
Plaudits were given specifically to Anthony Gordon, whose controversial goal decided the tie in the Magpies' favour. This season Gordon has been far more versatile and productive as part of Newcastle's front line.
'He's been brilliant for us'
Gordon has now scored 4 league goals this campaign, equalling his highest goal tally for Everton in the 21/22 season. Gordon has proved a crucial asset in Eddie Howe's side, especially considering the unfortunate long-term injury of recently acquired Harvey Barnes.
With the ability to play in all three forward positions, Gordon has been used in a multitude of ways by Howe in recent games. He trusts that the former Evertonian now has a good understanding of what is expected of him in this aggressive Newcastle side.
"Well, I think he's got used to what's expected of him. I think he had a sight of that at the end of last season. Four to five months under us and what we expect him to do. I think he came back a lot fitter from the Euros. That was a really successful campaign for him. I think that helped him boost his confidence...I think he's been brilliant for us. And I think again today showed his versatility. So he started wide left, and then went up front and that's where he got the goal," Howe said.
Howe was asked about his team's response to their defensive efforts, and how every tackle was seemingly met with the same joy and intensity as a goal.
"I think that's just a marker of mentality at the moment. Our willingness to do everything we can to try and win."
Howe praised the "really good feeling in the stadium" and how the crowd responded to the player's work.
"You don't win these games unless you compete and you have to compete against Arsenal's technical players and try and take their game away from them."
"I'm just really, really proud."
"Losing a player a game"
Howe also lamented the amount of injuries being felt by his team in his post-match press conference, with both Dan Burn and Jacob Murphy having to be substituted during the match.
"The injury situation is a big concern for us, it's a worry. We are competing on lots of fronts, at the moment we seem to be losing a player a game. Which, ultimately, is probably the big negative from today."
On the injuries to Dan Burn and Jacob Murphy, two players instrumental to Newcastle's success this season, Howe said:
"[Dan Burn] in a lot of pain for us, so that's a concern. [Jacob Murphy] we will lose now to an operation" - due to his shoulder now needing surgery to be properly addressed, likely taking the winger out of contention in the squad for the next three months.
On Mikel Arteta's comments post-match, Howe didn't give away much, staying quite diplomatic, despite the Arsenal manager's outburst.
"Maybe he's seen something I haven't because I've only seen it from the naked eye & from my angle I had no idea what was going on and I had no idea what was going on with VAR, to be honest."