Eddie Howe calls for security to be stepped up after shove by Leeds fan | Leeds United
Leeds face a Football Association investigation after a home supporter clambered over a fence and confronted Eddie Howe in the technical area at Elland Road on Saturday.
Newcastle’s manager has called for safety surrounding coaching staff and players to be stepped up after he was shoved in the chest by the fan towards the end of the 2-2 draw with Leeds. A lifetime ban for the supporter has been announced by Leeds.
Although two burly security men swiftly intervened to drag the offender away, everyone was initially caught unawares. “I’m OK,” said Howe. “But moments like that do make you think about the safety of the staff and players in the Premier League and Football League. To me, it’s paramount. We need to be mindful of it. Security is so important.”
Indeed, Howe urged a thorough review of security arrangements at high-profile matches. “No one should have to face that playing a sport we love and trying to entertain the country,” he said. “No one should feel like their own personal safety is violated. It’s something for us to reflect on.
“It was such a strange thing because you don’t expect it to happen. He confronted me and said something that I can’t repeat. I actually can’t remember him pushing me and I don’t know if I had time to be fearful because it was all over in a flash and he was led away. But it certainly makes you think ‘what if’. Moments like this should make people look and analyse how we can improve safety for staff and players.”
Newcastle’s manager was frustrated that, largely courtesy of a much-improved Leeds performance in Sam Allardcye’s second game in charge, Newcastle could not win a game featuring three penalties and a red card.
The Leeds left-back, Junior Firpo, was sent off after a second yellow card late on, Callum Wilson scored two penalties for the visitors, while Patrick Bamford missed his for Leeds.
“I needed two Valium when we came off to calm me down,” said Allardyce, joking. “I was nervous beforehand but the lads gave me some hope going forward. In the end a draw was satisfying. I hope the relegation fight goes right to the wire. I hope there’s something to play for against Tottenham.
“It’s not in our hands so we have to keep our fingers crossed. All we can do is do what we did today, just even better.”
With three games remaining – at home to Brighton and Leicester and away at Chelsea – Newcastle’s Champions League hopes remain in their own hands. “It was a strange game,” Howe said. “At 1-0 down and a penalty conceded you are fearing the worst but we managed to get ourselves in front and are ultimately disappointed not to have won.”