Assistant boss Jason Tindall has insisted Eddie Howe’s Newcastle rescue mission was never going to be a quick fix after seeing the club slip to the foot of the Premier League.
Head coach Howe was unable to be in the dugout at St James’ Park for his first game in charge after testing positive for Covid-19, and saw the side he inherited from Steve Bruce scrap their way to a 3-3 draw with promoted Brentford in an entertaining, but error-strewn contest.
Norwich’s win over Southampton meant a point was not enough to keep the Magpies in 19th place and, while they remain only five points adrift of safety, a return of no victories from their opening 12 games means they are in deep trouble.
However, Tindall said: “When we arrived at the football club, the team were where they were and since we’ve been here, we’ve just tried to implement our philosophy on the group of players as quickly and the best we can.
“It was never going to be such a quick fix to do that.
“We can’t focus on the league table, we can’t focus on anybody else other than ourselves. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but today, there were a lot of positives to take into next week.”
Newcastle head for in-form Arsenal next weekend knowing they have further work to do on the training pitch this week if they are to return with anything to show for their efforts after presenting a threat going forward, but looking painfully porous at the back.
They took a 10th-minute lead through Jamaal Lascelles’ towering header, but surrendered within seconds as goalkeeper Karl Darlow allowed former Magpie Ivan Toney’s shot to squirm through his grasp.
Worse was to follow when Rico Henry put the visitors ahead only for Joelinton to level, and although Lascelles’ fortunes took a turn for the worse when he deflected substitute Frank Onyeka’s 62nd-minute shot into his own net, Allan Saint-Maximin ensured the spoils were shared with a 75th-minute equaliser.
Tindall said: “Obviously, it wasn’t the result we wanted. We wanted to win the game and set up to win the game.
“But we’ve obviously conceded three goals and we were disappointed with them. We’ll look at those collectively and individually and we’ll need to put them right on the training ground.”
The extent of Howe’s involvement in that process, however, remains uncertain as a result of his need to isolate, although the Newcastle boss was in touch with his staff throughout Saturday’s game.
Tindall said: “Hopefully we can have Ed back before the Arsenal game. We’re just waiting on the doctor for that. That’s a little bit out of our hands and control. Ed will be a big influence on how we prepare.”
Brentford boss Thomas Frank left Tyneside bemoaning the two points which slipped from his grasp on an eventful afternoon.
Frank said: “When you’re leading twice, it’s a little bit frustrating that you don’t get three points. That’s the frustration.
“When you score three goals in a Premier League game – home or away or in any game across the world – you need to be able to get three points.
“(It is) very positive scoring three goals, very positive that we created a lot of dangerous situations and chances to have scored more.
“The big thing we need to improve from this game is we need to defend better.”