Eddie Howe praises the £25m signing who has ‘never let Newcastle United down’

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The Newcastle United striker got the ball rolling at the King Power Stadium.

Eddie Howe has heaped praise on Chris Wood for never letting Newcastle United down.

The New Zealand international was drafted into the starting XI for the Boxing Day trip to Leicester City following Callum Wilson’s illness.

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Naturally, Wilson’s absence was viewed as a huge blow for the Magpies but that feeling was eased just three minutes into the game by Wood himself.

After Joelinton was fouled by Daniel Amartey in the box, Wood stepped up calmly to fire United into the lead.

“He’s never let us down since the day he arrived at the football club,” Howe told NewcastleWorld. “He’s a brilliant professional away from the pitch, very hardworking and trains really well.

Newcastle United striker Chris Wood. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)Newcastle United striker Chris Wood. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Newcastle United striker Chris Wood. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“Whenever we’ve called upon him, he’s always produced in terms of our tactical and pressing plans to the highest level. Today, I thought he was very good tactically and scored a huge penalty for us.

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“He’s been very good from those situations. Full credit to Chris.”

From then on, Wood and his teammates cut through Leicester by racing into a 3-0 lead by the half-hour mark. And that’s how the scoreline ended with Newcastle moving up to second in the Premier League table.

“That’s why the players deserve huge credit, because physically, mentally, to play the way that we do isn’t easy,” Howe added. “We’re constantly asking the players to reach really high intensity levels with their work. That comes from their training then they’re attitude to the training has to be fully committed.

“I can’t praise the group enough. It’s been a difficult period where you don’t have your whole squad together, so you’re working with smaller groups, and then you’re implementing players back in so it’s not been a full pre-season.

“I’m delighted with how the players responded.”

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