Eddie Howe praises the TWO Newcastle United players brought in from the cold against Norwich City
Jamal Lewis started his first Premier League game of the season against former club Norwich City, while Federico Fernandez was introduced from the bench just 10 minutes in.
Lewis replaced the suspended Matt Ritchie at left-back to make his first Premier League start since February.
Meanwhile, Fernandez came on in place of Ryan Fraser after Ciaran Clark, initially selected ahead of the Argentine, was sent off 10 minutes in.
How long had Lewis and Fernandez been absent?
Lewis, a £15million signing from Norwich last summer, has barely kicked a ball this calendar year, with his previous last league start coming in a 1-1 draw with Wolves in February.
The 23-year-old impressed during his Carabao Cup appearance with Burnley in August but had played just six minutes since before his recall against the Canaries.
Fernandez had mysteriously been left out of the previous five matchday squads but with Jamaal Lascelles suspended, Howe had little option to at least put him on the bench.
Within 10 minutes, the former Swansea City man was introduced - and delivered a strong performance.
So, will both players retain their spots for the visit of Burnley on Saturday afternoon? Here’s what Howe thought of the pair’s respective displays:
Eddie Howe on Jamal Lewis
“I thought he did very well in a game where we didn’t have much of the ball,” Howe said,
“He’s obviously a real attacking left-back. He’s got great athleticism, and ability to go box to box.
“We didn’t see that, really because of the situation of the game but what I thought he did do was defend really well, and diligently, and worked well with Joelinton in front of him.
“I was very, very pleased with the effort he gave.”
Eddie Howe on Federico Fernandez
Howe said: “He’s been the ultimate professional.
“He’s a real leader of the group, a very well respected figure and I think he proved today that he is still an outstanding player. He defended magnificently.
“I haven’t seen too much of Fede yet. The week I missed with Covid, I had limited training time with the group but I was delighted to give him his opportunity.
“I was devastated for Ryan (Fraser) to take him off but I thought Fede played really, really well.”