Eddie Howe explains what is ‘rare’ about Chris Wood at Newcastle United
Chris Wood scored his second goal for Newcastle United during the 1-0 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
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Eddie Howe believes Chris Wood’s winner against Wolves capped off a terrific all-round performance for the Newcastle United striker.
The New Zealand international clinched a masssive three points for the Magpies when he dispatched his 72nd-minute penalty.
Wood reacted confidently from the spot to fire past goalkeeper Jose Sa having seen a first-half goal ruled out for offside by VAR.
It marked his second goal for the club - his firs at St James’ Park - since arriving from Burnley in January for £25million.
Howe said: “When you haven’t scored at home in front of your own supporters, I think as a striker that can be a difficult weight.
“He was really challenged tonight. The goal we thought was a goal, as everyone did in the stadium, and then it’s taken away from him.
“At that moment he must have thought ‘come on, when it’s coming?’
“For the penalty, yes there was a lot of pressure on his shoulders but I thought he struck the penalty really well. That was a big thing for him.”
Strikers are judged on goals and for Wood, a return of two goals in 12 matches isn’t an eye-catching record on paper.
However, as Howe has been keen to point out throughout Wood’s time on Tyneside, the 30-year-old is about more than just goals.
It is just selfless displays and desire to track back when needed which Howe believes are “rare” traits in a centre forward.
“He wants that responsibility,” Howe said, when asked about Wood taking the penalty. “When you come to a club like this you need broad shoulders and I think he has since he’s come in.
“His all-round game has been very good. I actually thought today his link up play was very good when we did get the ball into him.
“There are moments in the first and second half where he’s filling in at left midfield for Allan (Saint-Maximin), who’s made a long-bursting run forward and couldn’t get back.
“That’s rare to see from a number nine who wants to score goals to sacrifice himself for the team and that’s why I’m so pleased he got the goal that his all-round performance deserved.”
With Wood in the starting XI, Newcastle have lost just three games, winning seven and drawing two.