A Fabian Schar wonder goal and Callum Wilson's deft finish broke newly promoted Nottingham Forest's stubborn resistance as Newcastle opened their Premier League campaign with a deserved victory at St James' Park.
Centre-back Schar collected a loose ball on the edge of the box before sending a blistering effort into the net via the inside of the near post - a goal not dissimilar to the Switzerland international's strike against Burnley in February 2019.
Wilson put the result beyond doubt 12 minutes from time, directing a first-time flick over Dean Henderson and into the far corner from Joelinton's cross.
Howe said, "I'm feeling very positive after watching that – I thought the players were excellent from start to finish. It was a performance of real promise.
"I'm always going to push the players for more – I said at that half-time, we had produced a very positive performance until the last action. We need to be more ruthless as we know tough this league can be.
"It was missing the icing on the cake – Fabian brought that. When he was lining up to shoot I was questioning his decision but it was the right one. He's capable of the unexpected.
"We've got a few weeks left to try to get the right player that will make a difference for us."