Eddie Howe reflects on the ‘positive signs’ from Newcastle United’s display at Arsenal

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe pictured alongside assistant coach Jason Tindall. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe pictured alongside assistant coach Jason Tindall. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe pictured alongside assistant coach Jason Tindall. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United went into half-time 0-0 with Arsenal before going on to concede their 28th and 29th goals of the season.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has reflected on the “positive signs” he saw in the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.

The 43-year-old was encouraged by his side’s defensive display inside the opening half-hour before the hosts asserted control.

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Bukayo Saka opened the scoring on 56 minutes before substitute Gabrial Martinelli doubled the lead and subsequently put the game out of United’s reach.

It again highlighted the Magpies’ defensive struggles after conceding their 28th and 29th goals of the campaign - a Premier League worst - though Howe was happy with some aspects.

What Eddie Howe said about Newcastle’s defence

“Going through the game, I thought there were some really positive signs for us,” Howe told NewcastleWorld.

“Martin Dubravka was back in the team and I thought he played very, very well.

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“You know when you come to Arsenal, you’re going to need a good defensive display and I thought for the first 35 minutes we were very good.

“I felt we restricted them to long shots, they didn’t really hurt us. I think they had one chance, the (Emile Smith-Rowe’s) header in the box.

“Apart from that, I thought we were content but I just felt we began to sit deeper and deeper just towards half-time and Arsenal penned us in.

“That was probably the most worrying period.

“Their first goal is a top quality finish and the second goal... I don’t know if we were affected by what happened with Callum and the fact that decision wasn’t given (the penalty) but certainly we didn’t react well enough.

“At 2-0, it was difficult from then on.”

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