Anthony Gordon’s ‘very good’ reaction to Newcastle United half-time substitution

Anthony Gordon was hooked off at half-time during Newcastle United’s win versus Southampton.

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Anthony Gordon’s first St James’ Park start lasted just 45 minutes after the Newcastle United star was substituted at half-time.

In Sean Longstaff’s absence, Joelinton dropped into the three-man midfield, which opened up a spot for Gordon on the left-hand side.

From that position, the 22-year-old oversaw United’s best moments and squandered a golden opportunity to score his first goal since joining from Everton for £45million in January.

Gordon was sent one-on-one with Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy by Alexander Isak but aimed his shot off the inside of the post.

Newcastle United forward Anthony Gordon. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)Newcastle United forward Anthony Gordon. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)
Newcastle United forward Anthony Gordon. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)

The visitors took the lead just before half-time through Stuart Armstrong, prompting head coach Eddie Howe to introduce Callum Wilson. And unfortunately for Gordon, he was the player to make way.

Howe’s decision was vindicated after Wilson scored a brace to take his season tally to 15.

“If I wanted to introduce Callum, I had to take somebody off. It really was a process of that decision, really,” said Howe.

“I thought Anthony played well in the first half. Our best moments came through him, so it wasn’t really a slight on what he had given the team. I felt I had to do something to stimulate the group and give Southampton a different problem. I was delighted with the 45 minutes that he had.

Gordon came under the spotlight last month for his reaction to being taken off at Brentford but there was no such response this time around.

“His reaction to being taken off was very good, if there can be a very good reaction to it,” Howe added. “Obviously internally, I suspect, he was very disappointed, but he didn’t let that show. There was no outward sign of a negative reaction to that, which you need in that situation.

“I’ve done it plenty of times this season and will continue to do it. I have to take players off early if I’m not seeing what I want from the team – I did it at Brentford, where we made two very early subs at half-time, and the two players then reacted in the same way.

“I think there’s an understanding now with five substitutes, managers, in my opinion - and I will - will continue to act early, but it’s not always a reflection of the performance of the player.

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