Eddie Howe highlights Alexander Isak quality after ‘sickener’ against Liverpool

Eddie Howe Newcastle August 2022

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe pointed to Alexander Isak’s pace, but said it was “a sickener” after losing to a last-gasp Fabio Carvalho goal against Liverpool on Wednesday night.

Liverpool left it late and struck a dramatic winner in the eighth minute of time added on at Anfield. Newcastle looked to have earned a precious point but Carvalho rifled the ball in to end a scramble following a corner – sparking a brief melee between the benches.

While Liverpool celebrated, it was a gutting end for Newcastle given how impressive they had been in frustrating Liverpool on a night when record signing Alexander Isak had the visitors dreaming of a win.

The 22-year-old finished emphatically in the first-half on his debut and saw the offside flag deny him another, but the Magpies still looked set to leave with a point as the hosts toiled following Roberto Firmino’s equaliser.

Howe told BBC Sport: “That’s the pain of football. That’s the horrible side of it when your team has given everything. It is a sickener for us but it is part of the game. We just didn’t deal with the corner.

“I thought we played well in the first half. Naturally when you are 1-0 up here you are not going to be the dominant team and you are going to have to withstand pressure. It is difficult to defend against this team.”

Howe told BT Sport: “That’s painful, that, that is painful. I’m really proud of the players, proud of everybody, really, the commitment given to the game, the execution of the gameplan.

“But yes, that’s very painful.”

Howe added: “When you’re in the lead here, naturally it becomes a different game. We had to withstand pressure. We had to defend very, very well and we did for big periods. I don’t really remember them having too many clear-cut chances.

“Yes, they had chances, they had long shots. But I thought we defended really well. The last goal was a heartbreaker, really, for us.”

Isak ‘dream debut’ disappeared

Speaking about his new £58m striker Isak, Howe added: “He looked a threat and his pace was a key outlet for us. There were a number of really good performances.

“The performance and the commitment of the players was second to none. I think we are getting closer, but you need points.”

Isak, speaking to BT Sport, said: “I was thinking it was going to be a dream debut. It has been a hectic few days. I am happy I got my first minutes today.

“You can see the boys, very disappointed but we have another game right around the corner. And I think we have to use this feeling we are feeling as energy for the next game.”