Timing of Eddie Howe’s new contract thrown into question as Darren Bent suggests Newcastle should have ‘held fire’ but insists it’s ‘positive’ for fans


The timing of Eddie Howe’s new long-term contract at Newcastle has been questioned by Darren Bent.

On the eve of the new Premier League season, the Magpies announced new terms for Howe, whose previous contract ran until 2024.

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Howe was backed by the Newcastle board

The 44-year-old Englishman took over at St James’ Park in November 2021 following the Saudi-backed takeover – and steered the club away from relegation.

A club statement issued on Friday afternoon said: “Newcastle United are delighted to confirm that head coach Eddie Howe has signed a new long-term contract at St James’ Park.”

He added: “The team were still chasing their first Premier League win of the season when Howe arrived, but he guided United to 11th place in the 2021-22 campaign, finishing with 14 points. ahead of the bottom three and just two points out of the top 10.

Howe received £94m in January to beat the drop and Newcastle spent a further £55m in the summer window.

But former Premier League striker Bent insists success is not guaranteed for the Toon army this season – and holding fire over a new contract for Howe might have been wise.

“He’s done incredibly well since he’s been there,” Bent told talkSPORT.

Howe saved Newcastle from relegation but the bar has been raised

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Howe saved Newcastle from relegation but the bar has been raised

“You look at their form under him after the turn of the year, they would be in the top four with the performances they put in.

“I thought they would have held fire just to see how the season would start.

“There is a lot of expectation around Newcastle. Botman is a good signing, they have Targett, but I thought there would have been a few more.

“For Howe, it’s a massive show of faith and trust that they have all the money in the world, but they believe he’s the right person to take them forward.

Howe overturned Newcastle's fortunes

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Howe overturned Newcastle’s fortunes

“It’s good news for Newcastle.”

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