Postecoglou's sign of respect as 'Entertainers mark II' leave Kevin Keegan and Rob Lee impressed

Eddie Howe's side have scored four or more goals in a single game on seven occasions this season with the 4-1 romp over Paris St-Germain the high point of an up and down season.

In a weekend in which Kevin Keegan, back on Tyneside at a talk in, spoke glowingly about Howe and one of the chief Entertainers Rob Lee watched on from the Milburn Stand as a guest, it was easy to start getting excited about the future once again. Notching four goals on a regular basis was a key feature of the Keegan era first time around, and it feels like it can happen again.

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So are we talking the Entertainers Mark II here or can Howe create a model in which he can go one better? I do get the feeling Howe doesn't want to be a carbon copy of Keegan's team, but one thing the current boss is rekindling is that feeling of optimism and excitement that once had this city believing anything was possible.

Howe told me recently: "I want to the type of football that I enjoy watching. With that, you have to accept that you will be maybe more open than a team that sets up a totally different way, that's a bit more pragmatic, but I believe that's the best chance for us to have long-term success here.

"I've got no problem with entertaining. I'd prefer another word because that's been done and rightly Kevin's team was nicknamed The Entertainers. I think we would give them that tag and remember that team fondly. But we want to win games and trophies playing this way."

Keegan won the hearts and minds of fans during his stint as boss, but couldn't deliver that elusive piece of silverware. One of his final games of his most successful stint as boss saw Tottenham walloped 7-1 with Keegan referencing the pain on Spurs boss Gerry Francis' face at the end as one of the reasons that pushed him to quit. The current Tottenham boss wasn't that crest fallen on Saturday but had respect for the way Newcastle went about their business.

After the latest 4-0 win, Ange Postecoglou conceded that his Tottenham Hotspur side were unable to cope with Newcastle after Howe's side "dictated" the way the game was played at St James' Park on Saturday lunchtime. The Spurs boss even found himself under fire from his own fans on social media and on radio phone ins after a capitulation on Tyneside.

The Spurs boss said: "I thought they were good today, and they dictated the way the game was played. We didn’t do enough to change that course of events. They pressed us, but no more than other teams have. We’ve always had solutions to that, but today we didn’t have the belief or bravery to play our football."

The one major plus for Howe, through rain, hail or shine this season, has been the fact the "buy in" from his players has never disappeared. The respect the current Toon squad have for Howe is undoubtedly similar to the Kevin Keegan effect in the 1990s.

Howe's tactical acumen is one thing, but the fact his players intelligently understood what was a complex game plan against Spurs bodes well for the future. To play a back five or not to play a back five has been a recurring theme for Howe this season and often he has edged away from it.

But there was a slick compromise on Saturday afternoon as Newcastle only slipped into a back five when they were out of possession. Having been brutally put to the sword by inverted full-back duo Destiny Udogie and Pedro Porro in the reverse fixture at Spurs back in December, Newcastle showed they are capable of learning a lesson.

And Jacob Murphy and Elliot Anderson, deployed as wing-backs for spells, ensured the supply lines were shut down. Howe reflected: "I always say with these things you can plan a game-plan, how you are going to go against any team. It's irrelevant, really, it's down to the players and how they deliver that and they can either make you look really good or really bad.

"Yes, we mixed things up, we moulded things, but the players who maybe at times were slightly out of position did an incredible job. You look at someone like Elliot Anderson and what we asked him to do today and how well he delivered that, I'm really pleased for everybody."

Howe was asked by Chronicle Live if he felt his team had got close to those "PSG levels" but the head coach only spoke about an improvement since the international break. The fact of the matter is, Newcastle still have distance still to run in this season.

Putting Premier League positions aside, they can have a strong finish, even if they win four of their last six games. You'd like to think with fixtures at home to Sheff United and Brighton, plus trips to Crystal Palace and Burnley that could be achievable.

And then it will be down to the last two, an away day at Man United then a final day battle with Brentford. Howe stated he wants to win all six, if he can that will make the season's ending more than interesting.