Eddie Howe punched the air and screamed; exhausted goalscorer Callum Wilson looked to the heavens before collapsing to his knees; supporters defiantly chanted: 'We love Newcastle, we do'.

It has been a while since we've seen joyous scenes like these at full-time at St James' Park. Newcastle United had not lifted a cup; the Magpies had merely won their first game of the season.

You can see why that 1-0 win against Burnley meant so much, though. It had been 195 long days since Newcastle last claimed all three points but longer still since some of these supporters witnessed a victory in person - and not just because of the pandemic.

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Many fans made the difficult decision to walk away during the final years of the Ashley regime so this win was all the more special as this new era finally got going.

Indeed, Wilson was the first to admit he got 'a bit emotional' on the lap of appreciation after the game because he 'just wanted to get that first win for them'.

It would have been hard to ever imagine the owner, head coach, players and supporters all being on the same page in the Ashley era but something is stirring at St James' Park again as this club starts to rebuild.

Perhaps, that is the biggest takeaway from Eddie Howe's first month in charge. This club, which for so long was fractured, now feels united again.

Nothing captured that togetherness quite like players and staff posing for a group photograph in the home dressing room after the game.

The message was clear: this was a united effort. Kit man Neil Stoker and physiotherapist Daniel Marti were in the front row; assistant Jason Tindall was right in the middle of the shot with his arms around Federico Fernandez and Miguel Almiron; and Allan Saint-Maximin was sandwiched between first-team coach Stephen Purches and Howe at the back.

Starters, unused substitutes and coaches all had huge smiles on their faces. Having inherited a group that was low on confidence, Howe has breathed new life into the camp as players and staff push each other on.

Indeed, it was noticeable how Matt Ritchie was one of the first onto the pitch to congratulate Jamal Lewis after the game despite the left-back effectively taking his place in the team.

These sorts of scenes are not for everyone, of course. Roy Keane once said modern players were 'almost enjoying it too much' when the cameras came out in the dressing room after a game and the Manchester United legend warned they needed to 'move on pretty quickly and get ready for the next battle'.

However, Keane need not worry about that with Newcastle. This was not a back slapping exercise; it was a timely reminder to players and staff of the added incentive of winning games.

Howe will soon be reviewing clips and mapping out sessions for a crucial clear week on the training ground before the trip to Leicester and the 44-year-old knows the Magpies have to build on this first victory.

Although Newcastle remain three points from safety, ahead of a brutal run of fixtures, the players genuinely believe they can get out of this.

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe applauds fans as Callum Wilson and Jamal Lewis embrace after beating Burnley.
Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe applauds fans as Callum Wilson and Jamal Lewis embrace after beating Burnley.

No team has ever stayed up in the Premier League after failing to win any of their opening 14 games, but Howe has already challenged his players to 'change history'.

It would be quite an achievement. Since relegation was introduced in the late 19th century, only three clubs have had a winless run as long as 14 matches from the beginning of a top-flight campaign and stayed up: Sheffield United (16 games in 1990-91), Portsmouth (15 in 1937-38) and Leicester City (15 in 1975-76).

This gritty win, though, may yet prove a turning point. Newcastle have played better in spells of other games and not got the rewards yet here, against a relegation rival, the Magpies edged it despite a poor start to the game.

That will give Howe encouragement. Newcastle showed spirit after going down to 10 men against Norwich City four days earlier and, against Burnley, the black-and-whites again had to dig deep.

It was everything you would expect from a six pointer - tense, stop-start and scrappy - and Newcastle were second best in the opening stages.

The hosts looked a little leggy after their efforts against Norwich on Tuesday night and Johann Gudmundsson sent an early warning when his deflected shot struck the post in the 13th minute.

Callum Wilson fires Newcastle into the lead against Burnley
Callum Wilson fires Newcastle into the lead against Burnley

However, as long as Newcastle have Wilson on the field, the Magpies always have a chance and the number nine fired his side in front just before half-time.

Nick Pope, under pressure from Fabian Schar, fumbled Joe Willock's teasing cross and the ball fell kindly to the predatory Wilson inside the area.

The striker took a touch to take the ball away from defender Nathan Collins and the Burnley goal but still managed to pick his spot and lash the ball into the net from a tight angle despite three opposition players being in the way.

The goal changed the entire atmosphere inside the stadium as delighted part-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi hugged in the directors' box.

It had previously been a little nervy at times in the first half, in contrast, after the break, Newcastle supporters were pushing their side on to go and get a second.

You could understand why. Newcastle had failed to keep a clean sheet all season and memories of Teemu Pukki's late equaliser on Tuesday night were still fresh in the memory.

That second goal would not come, however, in a game of few chances. Miguel Almiron fired just wide after being played in by Wilson in the 55th minute while Jonjo Shelvey's effort from distance was tipped over by Pope in the 79th minute.

Just as the fans urged their side on, they also stuck with the players when Burnley bombarded the Newcastle goal with long balls forward late on and each clearance was cheered like it was a goal.

Substitute Jay Rodriguez did have a goal ruled out for offside in the 83rd minute, but that was as close as the Clarets came to an equaliser as Newcastle's defence held firm. At long last.

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