Eddie Howe reflects on Newcastle United beating Forest, Lascelles injury and central defender dilemma

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Eddie Howe enjoyed his opening day of the season.

Saturday afternoon seeing Newcastle United beat Nottingham Forest 2-0.

Whilst a two goal victory at home against a promoted team maybe doesn’t look all that…it was such a dominant display at both ends of the pitch, the NUFC head coach couldn’t have asked for much more.

Obviously you always want more goals and to make the match safe as soon as possible, but Eddie Howe will have loved the discipline his players showed, not panicking and just keeping it going to finally get their reward.

Eddie Howe admitted post-match that making his central defender choices for this Forest game was a tricky one, the head coach pointing to the fact it did Bruno no harm, making him wait some six weeks before his first start in March. Howe relying on Schar and Burn who excelled in the second half of last season, with Sven Botman now having to wait his turn.

The Dutch defender got a few seconds off the bench but I’m guessing maybe the League Cup match towards the end of August will see his first start, if Burn and Schar stay in this kind of form.

Club captain Jamaal Lascelles was initially named on the bench but replaced late on by Paul Dummett, Eddie Howe saying Lascelles felt his thigh tighten and the head coach admitting that post-match he is yet to find out whether this is an injury to cause any real concern.

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Eddie Howe talking to BBC Newcastle after Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0:

“I thought it was a very good performance and I thought we were excellent in most aspects of our play.

“Physically, we were really good, and maintained our intensity throughout the game.”

Eddie Howe on the opening goal by Fabian Schar:

“Fabian is capable of that and has scored some outstanding goals in his career. 

“He’s an unconventional centre half in that way, and he’s capable of brilliant things.

“I was unsure of his decision to shoot but I was very pleased he did!”

Eddie Howe on central defenders and dilemma of who to choose:

“A difficult call because all four centre halves have been excellent through pre-season.

“However, I went with the two that played the majority of last season.

“Sven Botman has been excellent, and it’s not a reflection on his performances.”

Eddie Howe on Sven Botman:

“Sven will get loads of opportunities to play.

“I was delighted to give him his debut today and he’ll be a top player for us.

“But, I don’t think this period – similar to Bruno when he first came to the league – will do him any harm.”

Eddie Howe on Jamaal Lascelles, who was a late drop out from the bench and replaced by Paul Dummett:

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“I think he just felt his thigh tightening up.

“I don’t know how bad it is.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Saturday 6 August 3pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Schar 58, Wilson 78

Forest:

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Forest 38% (35%) Newcastle 62% (65%)

Total shots were Forest 5 (3) Newcastle 23 (14)

Shots on target were Forest 0 (0) Newcastle 10 (6)

Corners were Forest 1 (0) Newcastle 11 (7)

Referee: Simon Hooper

Attendance:  52,245 (Forest 3,000)

Newcastle United:

Pope, Trippier, Schar, Burn, Targett, Willock (Sean Longstaff 80), Bruno (Botman 90+3), Joelinton, Almiron (Fraser 81), Wilson (Wood 90), Saint-Maximin (Murphy 90)

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, Dummett, Ritchie, Anderson

(Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Saturday’s excellent victory – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer loving Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Salutes goalscorers and ‘Fantastic’ man of the match – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Dominant classy opening day for United, just look at these stats – Read HERE)

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