Howe says safety was 'violated' after a pitch invader confronted him

Eddie Howe says his safety was ‘violated’ after a pitch invader confronted him in the technical area during Newcastle’s 2-2 draw with Leeds… as Magpies boss calls for ‘improved’ precautions

  • The Newcastle boss was confronted by an angry spectator during their 2-2 draw
  • The man made his way to the dugout whilst Newcastle were taking late freekick 
  • Howe later suggested that they need to ‘improve’ safety precautions in place

Eddie Howe felt his safety was ‘violated’ after a Leeds fan shoved and abused him on the touchline – and says the incident could have been far worse.

The home supporter ran into Howe’s technical zone in the second half before tapping the Newcastle boss on the shoulder and pushing him in the chest. Coaching staff and stewards intervened and the man was later arrested. The FA will now investigate and Leeds could face a charge.

And after a 2-2 draw high on drama and emotion, Howe said: ‘It certainly makes you think, “What if?”. Moments like this should hopefully make people analyse things and see how we can improve safety for staff and players.

‘Those types of situation, no-one should have to face that, playing a sport they love and trying to entertain the country. No-one should have to feel their own personal safety is violated. It’s something for us to reflect on.’

The confrontation occurred in stoppage-time, moments after Leeds defender Junior Firpo had been sent off and with Kieran Trippier about to take a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area.

Eddie Howe (left) insists his safety was ‘violated’ after an angry spectator (right) invaded the technical area and confronted him during Newcastle’s draw with Leeds

Howe looked bemused as the man approached him in the dugout, before security intervened

Howe added: ‘It was just such a strange thing. You’re concentrating on the game, it’s not something you expect to happen. He confronted me, he said something that I can’t repeat, then he’s led away. I’m OK. But I think moments like that do make you think.

‘The safety of staff, players, is paramount for me in the Premier League or any matches in the Football League. We need to be mindful. Security is so important.’

Leeds, in Sam Allardyce’s first game at Elland Road, led through Luke Ayling before Patrick Bamford missed a penalty. Newcastle won a penalty of their own two minutes later, converted by Callum Wilson, and the same player netted from the spot midway through the second half. Rasmus Kristensen then salvaged a point for the hosts.

Howe, whose side remain third in the table, said: ‘Maybe the longer time goes on we might think that is a really good point for us. But I don’t feel that now, I feel disappointed we haven’t won. It depends what happens in our next games, it could be a valuable point.

‘Coming here was always going to be difficult. The situation that Leeds are in, new manager, style of play, the crowd. I think we could have played better but it’s the Premier League, it’s never easy.’

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