Eddie Howe reveals Lewis Miley plans as Newcastle United youngster continues to shine

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The Magpies manager has discussed the development of one of the club’s most promising talents after a number of impressive pre-season performances.

Eddie Howe has revealed his plans for Newcastle United youngster Lewis Miley as the highly-rated midfielder continues to shine in the Magpies first-team setup.

The 17-year-old made an unexpected senior debut on the final day of last season as he came off the bench in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea. Miley almost made a spectacular introduction to life in the Premier League when he struck the crossbar with a powerful effort to give a small signal of his undoubted promise and ability.

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An impressive start to pre-season saw the youngster come off the bench to set up the winning goal for fellow academy product Jay Turner-Cooke in the 3-2 victory at Gateshead. The positivity continued with a mature display as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 win at Rangers and Miley has continued to impress in games against Aston Villa and Chelsea as United take part in the Premier League Summer Series in the United States.

Miley’s progression into the senior setup at St James Park has not come as a surprise to Howe, who revealed the need to ‘help, guide and educate’ the young midfielder through a challenging period in his career.

“I haven’t come across many 17-year-olds at his level,” explained the Magpies boss.

“I’ve coached some really good players at that age who you think could go on and have exceptional careers, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. He’s not surprised me because I’d seen it for six months at the back end of last season, just how well he was developing and how strong he looked in the group.

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“The biggest challenge for Lewis will be mentally. He’s going to get a lot of press coverage from this moment and a lot of exposure. It’s handling and dealing with that. It’s then waiting for his opportunity while keeping his head. He’ll have lots of people in his ear. All those things contribute to how you handle success and, when it comes really early, it can be really difficult. We’ll try and help, guide and educate him as best we can.”

As with any promising young player, there has been talk of a need to experience life away from Newcastle by securing a loan move with an EFL club.

Several of the Magpies academy products are believed to be attracting attention from clubs in England and Scotland and Miley’s form is sure to have triggered interest from suitors at a number of levels. But Howe insisted the England Under-17 international will remain on Tyneside and assured the youngster he will get first-team action during the upcoming Premier League season.

He said: “The plan for him has been consistent in my mind. There are no thoughts about sending him on loan, he’s too young to be exposed to that at the moment.

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“He needs to stay with his family and learn and develop around the players we have. Physically, it’s always the biggest test for someone so young, but he is a very good athlete, strong, a good size. He looks like he can handle the environment he’s in. The next step for us is to push him. I’m sure he’ll get minutes this year.

“It’s a fine balance for me to protect him at times and push him at others. If you didn’t know his age, you wouldn’t say he was 17.”

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