Eddie Howe has revealed that one of the hardest parts of being Newcastle manager is having to say goodbye to your children.
The 44-year-old father-of-three has spent the past seven months combining his parenting duties with the task of keeping the Magpies in the Premier League, with the latter goal accomplished with flying colors and public acclaim.
Howe, who replaced Steve Bruce at the helm of St James’ Park in November last year, has been commuting between the North East and his home in Dorset, where his wife Vicki and their three sons, aged 10, 7 and 3, stayed in the middle looking for a new family home in Tyneside – and the separation proved difficult.
“But I know it’s for a short time and I know for me I’m going towards something amazing, I’m leading Newcastle United and it’s an amazing experience for me.
“They love Newcastle as much as anyone, so they know why I’m leaving them. I think that helps too.
Asked how quickly his focus shifts from the tearful farewell to Newcastle United as he heads north again, Howe hesitated before saying: “If my wife is reading this….” adding with a smile: “At the moment when I cross the gates of the house. It’s shocking.
Howe, who ended his eight-year reign at Bournemouth – his second spell – in the summer of 2020 following the club’s relegation from the top flight, accepted Newcastle’s job offer after rejecting other opportunities, including at Celtic, knowing it would impact his family in the short term.
However, daily calls have mitigated his absence.
He said: “Once they finish school or the different clubs they go to, I will make it a point to phone them and see them visually every day.
“I bring in another of the boys, he gives a one-word answer and then runs away. It’s like a treadmill, me trying to keep their attention.
“But I miss them dearly. We made it work and we knew it was only for a short time.
The Howe family were together in Gallowgate on Monday night, and for very good reason.
By the time Arsenal arrived at St James for the penultimate game they were not only mathematically secure, but comfortably, and a 2-0 victory over the Gunners in the Champions League was their 11th in 17 outings since the end of January . perhaps a modest achievement in the context of the club’s ambitions under its new owners, but one that was celebrated with delight by fans sensing a brighter future.
Howe, who like the players was later joined on the pitch by his family, said: “I wanted them to experience this, to bring them closer to the club. The result, the performance, made it even better.
“If they had watched it on TV, I would have cried inside for them. The fact that they were there, it was an awesome moment.
Famous for his attention to football detail, Howe found himself in video analysis mode when his wife captured eldest son Harry performing a Cruyff turn amid celebrations.
He said: “I trained and trained him to do a Cruyff turn. He does it in the garden, but never in his matches.
“He plays lightly into himself, so seeing him do that Cruyff at St James in front of 50,000 is validation that he can do it. The pressure is on him now.