Eddie Howe admits it meant ‘everything’ for Newcastle to comfortably defeat rivals Manchester United in their Carabao Cup meeting on Wednesday night.
Miguel Almiron opened the scoring for the Magpies at Old Trafford, before goals from Lewis Hall and Joe Willock recorded a famous win to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.
Newcastle gained revenge for their defeat to United in last season’s final but also got one over the side with whom they locked horns on several occasions during the 1990s.
It was a sweet victory for Newcastle fans to see their side win so easily at Old Trafford, and speaking after the match, Howe admitted the rivalry added an extra dimension to their triumph.
“It means everything to us and hopefully to them (the fans),” he said at his post-match press conference. “You could see the reaction at the end. They knew we were in a tough moment, making changes, but that can sometimes elevate our unity. Players like Matt Ritchie elevate that and his performance was of the highest level.”
Howe faced a dilemma when his side headed into the half-time break with a two-goal cushion, but he insists he never had any plans other than to play attacking football.
He added: “The message at half-time was to be positive and brave and continue to do the things that brought us success. I have seen many games here where the crowd win them the game.”