Eddie Howe admits ‘concern’ over injury victim as Bournemouth draw sees Newcastle maintain Champions League push
Eddie Howe admitted his concerns over an injury to Joe Willock after the midfielder was forced to leave the pitch during the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth.
The Magpies missed out on the chance to move above Manchester United into third spot in the Premier League. But their 11th draw of 2022-2023 means they sit fourth, two points clear of Tottenham and with a game in hand. Howe returned to the club where he spent ten years as a manager across two spells.
But his present club were behind on the half-hour mark as Marcos Senesi gave the Cherries the lead.
However, Miguel Almiron bagged his 10th top-flight goal of the campaign two minutes into first-half stoppage time.
There were no further goals after the break as the Tynesiders extended their unbeaten run to a club record-equalling 17 league games.
Willock lasted just 36 minutes before he was replaced by Newcastle new boy Anthony Gordon.
But the former Arsenal man was not the only north-east star to suffer an injury. Allan Saint-Maximin and Almiron himself were both replaced during the second period after picking up injuries.
Howe did not seem too bothered by the latter two but confessed that Willock’s problem is a different kettle of fish.
“I think Miggy and Max, I don’t think are too bad,” he said. “Miggy, I think, got stamped on his hand, so we think he’ll be OK. Maxi was just a knock.
“The concern from today is Joe Willock, who has gone off with a hamstring problem.”
Howe pinpoints problem area of Newcastle
Newcastle have been a revelation this term and are in with a decent shout of finishing in the top four.
Recruitment has been excellent while Howe has been roundly praised for the job he has done at St James’ Park.
The 45-year-old was given a superb reception by the Bournemouth fans after the game.
They clearly had not forgotten how he guided them from the lower leagues into the Premier League.
The former Cherries defender told BBC Sport it was a tricky encounter for his side. And he feels they did not put the opposition under enough pressure when it mattered most.
“It was a tough game. Very competitive between two good teams,” he added.
“Bournemouth have a lot of energy and athleticism, and I thought we dealt with them pretty well apart from the goal, and a couple of other scary moments for us.
“Bit disappointed in the final third, not as many clearcut chances as we would like, and a lot of half moments where we could have done better, but I think it was a fair result.”
Howe’s next task is to lift his players for the task of taking on Liverpool. The Reds may not be enjoying the best of seasons but still possess many match-winning players.
The men in black and white host Jurgen Klopp’s charges next Saturday.
And then the quest for silverware continues with the EFL Cup final against Manchester United on February 26.
READ MORE: Liverpool enter talks to sign Germany international who’d force senior star out; Newcastle follow suit, Tottenham named