Newcastle United’s 3-0 victory over bitter rivals Sunderland in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday can act as a launch pad for the Premier League club’s campaign to get back on track, manager Eddie Howe said.
Daniel Ballard’s own goal and Newcastle forward Alexander Isak’s double helped the Magpies, who were off the back of just one win in their last eight matches in all competitions, end their wait for a derby victory against the Championship side since 2011.
With increasing pressure after exiting the Champions League and League Cup while also sitting ninth in the top flight, Howe said he was happy with his team’s display at the Stadium of Light.
When asked if Newcastle could use the win as a launch pad, Howe said: “Well, hopefully. That’s how we have to look at it.
“Naturally, when you don’t win for a period of time, confidence can be affected. Our players are the same as any others.
“Today will have done them the world of good. We’ve not just won the game, but we’ve performed well, we’ve scored goals, we’ve kept a clean sheet so all round, it’s a very good day.”
Having crashed out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage in the last three seasons, Howe said Newcastle would love a deep run in the competition this time around.
“The third round has not been kind to us the last couple of years, two difficult moments for us,” he added.
“But those moments actually helped us grow. Now we stand here and we know we needed to win today, so we’re delighted to do that and yes, we’d love a run in the FA Cup. It’s an important competition now for us.”
Newcastle will next host Manchester City in the league at St. James’ Park on Saturday.