Eddie Howe has reacted after he was shoved by a fan during Newcastle’s draw with Leeds.
Newcastle’s Champions League ambitions suffered a blow on Saturday when they drew 1-1 with Leeds at Elland Road.
The visitors came from behind to lead thanks to two Callum Wilson penalties, but Rasmus Kristensen rescued a point for the relegation-threatened hosts.
Leeds now found themselves a point from safety with two games left to play, while Newcastle will secure a top-four finish with two wins in their final three matches.
However, rather than permutations at either end of the table, the headlines were stolen by an unsavory moment that occurred on the touchline.
In the final moments of injury time, a Leeds fan somehow found his way past security and confronted Newcastle manager Howe in his technical area.
The supporter said something to a surprised Howe, before shoving him.
The offender was apprehended and escorted away by security staff, while a Newcastle staff member prevented assistant manager Jason Tindall from confronting the fan himself.
After the match, Howe reacted to the bizarre incident.
“That was a surprise,” the 45-year-old told BT Sport after the match.
“I was concentrating on the game. It was the last thing you think could happen.”
Luckily for Howe, the supporter carry a weapon or attempt to do anything else.
“I can’t remember whether he pushed me or not, I’ve got no idea,” Howe added.
A Leeds fan got onto the pitch and squared up to Eddie Howe before being escorted away by security 😳 pic.twitter.com/U7Td8Rwfhc
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) May 13, 2023
“It was just such a strange thing because you’re concentrating on the game, it’s not something you expect to happen. He confronted me and said something that I can’t repeat and was led away.
“I think that’s what happened but someone might tell me different. I’m OK. Moments like that do make you think – the safety of staff and players is paramount. We need to be mindful, the security is so important.”
Over the past couple of years there has been a worrying rise in incidents of supporters invading the field of play to abuse players and managers.
Former Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira was confronted by an Everton fan at Goodison Park late last season during a mass pitch invasion, while Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp was punched by a Nottingham Forest fan during the Championship play-offs last season.