Eddie Howe prefers the experience of Dan Burn over Sven Botman for now. The head coach handed the Geordie the start over the summer signing for the Bournemouth draw at St. James’ Park. It was his 23rd straight league appearance for his hometown club.
After the match, Howe confirmed Burn was ahead of the young Dutchman in the pecking order. Burn’s experience has won the day for the time being, though Botman will be one of the future stars to keep this club moving forward.
While the future is bright, there will be growing changes. Two straight draws at home without a goal from open play is a testament to that. Newcastle are still in the infancy (well maybe toddler) stage of their resurrection.
The hopes among the faithful was a push into Europe next season. Those hopes have taken a hit with just one win so far this season. Though Saturday’s win put Newcastle in the top ten which is the conservative aim for this campaign.
Dan Burn spoke about the Bournemouth draw and putting expectations into perspective. This is what he defender as published in The Northern Echo:
“It was hard to break them down when they put everyone behind the ball, and we will come across that a lot this season. Teams are trying to take the sting out of it and dampen the crowd down – it feels like two points lost.
“It’s a change of mentality, and we have to find ways of breaking them down. We need to string a run together. Not getting beaten is good mentality-wise, but we might look back (with regret) at the end of the season at these games when we could have picked up more points.
“Is it a reality check? Maybe a little bit. As a fanbase, we are like that anyway. We always get ahead of ourselves. It has been like that since I was a kid.
“We have to be realistic with the way we look at the takeover and how we are building our squad. Realistically, we should still have targets in our head. Europe is pushing it a bit, but we should be pushing top ten, comfortably. Hopefully, we can reset after the international break.”
The aim should be for a European place this season. However, a comfortable top ten finish will be a very respectable finish. The club have to aim high but not get too distressed if the mark is missed.
The progress over the past 11 months has been remarkable. There will be moments when things don’t go to plan. The fact there is a plan for success is worlds apart from where this club was this time last year.