Newcastle Fans Sense A Turning Point
New beginnings appear to be underway on Tyneside.
[SWIFT KICKS] With 'Hey Jude' belting out from the speakers above a celebrating crowd at St James' Park, Allan Saint-Maximin couldn't help but join in.
The French winger raised his arms and sang along after putting in a man of the match performance to help the Magpies win 3-1 against Everton. Even The Toffee's new boss, Frank Lampard called St Maximin "unplayable".
It seemed like a moment that all of The Toon have been waiting for since their takeover by a Saudi-backed consortium in October.
After spending close to £100m in the January transfer window, there's a renewed excitement among fans that there's finally a squad in place to take them out of the relegation battle and set their sights for so much more.
Let's not be naïve. This season is all about survival for Newcastle. New signing Bruno Guimarães revealed himself that the new owners told him "the main objective and challenge" is remaining in the Prem. But after that - it's Champions League or bust.
In manager Eddie Howe, there also appears to be tactics behind every decision and a method to how he approaches matches. Fans may have been disappointed that Guimarães and new center back Dan Burn didn't start against Everton Tuesday. But they won't be so quick to question him after their 3-1 win.
The win pulled Newcastle out of the drop zone, and just 8 points off from 10th place.
"It's funny how quickly the questions switch," Howe joked in a post-match news conference.
He also said getting back-to-back wins for the first time this season "changes the mood and feeling".
A recent training trip to Saudi Arabia also seems to have done the players some good. After camel rides and trips to the sand dunes, the team appear to be closer than ever.
One man who's really taken on his new role is Kieran Trippier. The £12m signing has had a number of strong performances since joining the club. But his free kick at the Gallowgate end to seal the three points against Everton was just what the team needed.
The goal and full team performance sent a pointed message that spoke to the future of Newcastle, in which they can possible start to look up the table - and put the angst, anger, and frustrations of the past to bed.