Monday, October 3, 2022

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Eddie Howe says Nerwcastle missed Allan Saint-Maximin’s ‘magic’ during the draw at Bournemouth

Eddie Howe says Newcastle are crying out for Allan Saint-Maximin’s “magic” after watching his side’s winless streak in the Premier League stretch to six games after a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth.

Howe showed the Magpies’ lack of threat up front after they had to rely on an Alexander Isak penalty to salvage a fifth draw of the season after Philip Billing put the Cherries ahead.

Saint-Maximin has been down through injury since late last month and Howe acknowledged how important the Frenchman will be as he continues to ramp up his progress towards a return some time after the international break.

“I think in a game like today there’s a huge hole for some like Maxi when you’re playing against a stubborn opponent and it takes a bit of magic to unlock the door,” Howe admitted.

“You’ll never replace Allan, so we’ll have to find another way. I still believe that without him we can win and be a very effective team, just very different.

“There’s nobody like him in the Premier League, he’s a very unique player and he brings gifts to the team that you’re crying out for on a day like today, but we just need to improve and we need to be better.”

Newcastle failed to capitalize on their territorial dominance in a frustrating first period, although Kieran Tripper and Joelinton both hit the goal frame and Bournemouth keeper Neto made a brilliant save to thwart both the Brazilian and Ryan Fraser.

Gary O’Neil’s side threatened to deepen Howe’s woes when Billing attacked a Jordan Zemura through ball to slide the first set past Nick Pope just after the hour mark, but Isak equalized within three minutes after VAR decided a handball against Cherries defender Jefferson Lerma.

Howe believes his side could get even more frustrated as clubs try to dampen the atmosphere at St James’s Park by sitting low and hoping to catch them counter-attacking.

“It’s not going to be a new problem for us, this is going to be one that’s going to be there and we need to be better with the ball, be more creative and show more patience,” Howe added.

“This is something new for us here at home and adapting to it here at home will be part of our learning.”

As takeover rumors swirled, O’Neil remained tense about his own future as manager, but his side’s improvement was plain to see as they extended their unbeaten run under his stewardship to three games since the 9-0 at Anfield.

O’Neil will learn his fate during the international break but he claimed: “I have no thoughts about myself or my future. I’ll take care of the next game when asked and I’ll let the rest take care of itself.’

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