Eddie Howe and Nathan Jones agree over ‘controversial’ Southampton v Newcastle United incident

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Nathan Jones and Eddie Howe were in agreement over the Southampton v Newcastle United incident.

Nick Pope was the star of the show during Newcastle United’s first leg Carabao Cup semi-final win at Southampton - but some argued he shouldn’t have been on the pitch.

The Magpies goalkeeper raced off his line to head a clearance out for a throw in but in the process wiped out Moussa Djenepo.

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The Saints winger lay on the turf and was assessed by the physios before being replaced by Adam Armstrong in a concussion substitution.

Sections of the St Mary’s home support and some users on social media questioned felt it was a reckless move by Pope - but neither Nathan Jones or Eddie Howe agreed it was a red card offence.

Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“I think Nick got the ball, he headed the ball clear and naturally there was a coming together with two players chasing the same ball,” said Howe, head coach of Newcastle United.

“I certainly hope the player is fine, well and OK. He looked a bit shaky when he came off so fingers crossed that there is no long-term damage.”

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Jones argued it’s not within Pope’s nature and therefore agreed with Howe.

He said: “I know Nick Pope really well and it’s not in his nature to do anything like that. It’s not a good challenge in any way but do I think there’s any malice? I know Nick really well, I don’t think that’s in his character.

“He (Djenepo) took a big knock to the head so he’s a little bit dazed. We took him off as a precaution really, we didn’t want to take any risks with him. We made a concussion sub so he’ll be rested for seven days now.”

Pope, again, played a vital part in Newcastle’s 1-0 advantage ahead of next week’s deciding leg at St James’ Park. He pulled off two top class saves to deny Che Adams before Joelinton scored on 73 minutes.

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Indeed, referee Stuart Atwell and VAR had a big say on other decisions throughout the evening.

Atwell deemed Joelinton to have handled the ball and ruled out his first-half goal after VAR agreed. VAR, however, was on United’s side when Armstrong’s equaliser was ruled out for the same reason.

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