NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe urged Newcastle to “stay calm” after they moved out of the Premier League relegation zone with a vital 3-1 win against Everton that plunged Frank Lampard’s side deeper into trouble on Tuesday.
Howe’s team fell behind to Jamaal Lascelles’ own goal in the first half at St James’ Park.
But, on a pulsating Tyneside evening, the Magpies had the perfect response as Mason Holgate’s own goal sparked a rousing revival.
Ryan Fraser put Newcastle ahead after half-time and Kieran Trippier’s superb free-kick rounded off the hosts’ second successive win.
Mired in the bottom three for most of the season, Newcastle finally have their heads above water as they battle to avoid sinking into the Championship.
Unbeaten in four league games, Newcastle are one place and two points above the relegation zone.
Warning his players to stay focused, Howe said: “Consecutive wins in the Premier League are rare, they can change your status and elevate the club. But we have to stay calm and focus on the next game.
“We are in a better place, but football has a way of twisting and turning, so we are not getting ahead of ourselves, we know how tough this league can be.”
Everton are now in serious danger and Lampard will have been left in no doubts about the size of the task facing him.
Lampard’s first game in charge was a 4-1 win over Brentford in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.
But the honeymoon ended much quicker than the former Chelsea boss would have liked.
Everton have failed to win their last six league games and sit uncomfortably just one point above Newcastle.
“Of course the players’ confidence levels are low, it smacks you in the face,” Lampard said.
“When I came to the club it was on a bad run of results. There is no magic wand to fix that. It was never going to be easy and this result puts it into sharp focus.”
The promise of a star-studded spending spree fuelled by Newcastle’s Saudi-led owners failed to materialise during the January window.
But Newcastle remain ambitious despite their perilous position and Brazil midfielder Bruno Guimaraes marked his £33 million (US$44 million) move from Lyon last month by claiming the club would be Champions League winners in the future.
For now, Howe would settle for avoiding having to win the Championship next season and this was a step in the right direction.
Having watched Everton score four for the first time in 42 matches at the weekend, Lampard started with his new signings – Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek – among the substitutes.
However, an injury to Demarai Gray forced Lampard to give former Tottenham midfielder Alli his debut in the 25th minute.
Everton snatched the lead in the 36th minute when Anthony Gordon’s free-kick was half cleared to Holgate and the defender saw his shot hacked off the line by Fabian Schar, only for Lascelles to deflect it into his own net.
Newcastle drew level thanks to another own goal just 60 seconds later.
Remarkably, it was the same two players involved as Lascelles’ header from Trippier’s cross hit the bar and bounced in off Holgate’s thigh.
Carelessly surrendering possession in the 56th minute, Alli’s error allowed Allan Saint-Maximin to embark on rampaging run and Fraser met his cross with a close-range finish.
Everton had lost their way in a lacklustre manner that will have alarmed Lampard and Trippier delivered the knockout blow in the 80th minute.
Netting for the first time since his move back to the Premier League from Atletico Madrid, England right-back Trippier curled his free-kick past Jordan Pickford to spark wild celebrations.-AFP