Eddie Howe praised Callum Wilson’s flourishing leadership skills after taking on the “burden” of Newcastle’s number nine shirt.
Howe, who took Wilson to the former club Bournemouth in his second term on the south coast, inherited the £ 20million striker when he replaced Steve Bruce at Newcastle last month and the saw score in the last two games, the second of them a crucial 1-0 victory over Burnley that ended the Magpies’ Premier League drought.
The pair spent six largely successful years with the Cherries before the two left in weeks following relegation and, after being reunited at Tyneside, the 44-year-old saw the leader grow to the during the interim period. .
Howe said, “He seems very, very mentally stable, very focused. I think his leadership qualities have improved significantly. He’s a great character in the group.
“He always had a very, very good outlook on life and football when I worked with him before at Bournemouth, a really positive guy. He always believed he would score and contribute for the team.
“But I guess what I’m saying is I think his leadership now he’s looking at other people and his environment and trying to stimulate others rather than just focusing on himself so I’m really happy.” from him.
“He gives a lot to the club. He took that burden from number nine and it’s not an easy thing to do, but he made it his own and all the credit goes to him.
Wilson has contributed six of Newcastle’s 17 league goals so far this season, none of which is more important than his nerve-wracking strike against the Clarets who claimed a first campaign victory in the 15th time.
The final whistle at St James’ Park sparked some crazy celebrations, and while there was still a long and hard road to go, they simply served to increase Howe’s hunger.
He said: “It was a really uplifting experience because it was the first time that we could share this feeling of victory together, and watch the stands, see them full and everyone was supporting in their appreciation of what the players had just delivered was an amazing time.
“I hope this is the first in a long series to come. I’m very grateful for what the supporters have given me since I’ve been at the club – it’s only a short time, but they’ve been absolutely amazing to me – and of course I want to give them more.