Eddie Howe sends message to Newcastle United supporters after ‘emotional’ Sandro Tonali moment

Newcastle fans display a banner in support of Newcastle United's Italian midfielder #08 Sandro Tonali ahead of the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 21, 2023. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFPNewcastle fans display a banner in support of Newcastle United's Italian midfielder #08 Sandro Tonali ahead of the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 21, 2023. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP
Newcastle fans display a banner in support of Newcastle United's Italian midfielder #08 Sandro Tonali ahead of the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 21, 2023. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP | AFP via Getty Images
Sandro Tonali featured as a substitute during Newcastle United’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Eddie Howe has thanked Newcastle United fans for the love shown to Sandro Tonali during Saturday’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.

After dropping out of the starting XI, the Italian was introduced in the 69th minute with the game wrapped up via goals from Jacob Murphy, Anthony Gordon, Sean Longstaff and Callum Wilson

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Tonali received a warm reception when coming on as a substitute and also led the lap of honour at full-time.

Newcastle United’s Italian midfielder #08 Sandro Tonali applauds fans on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne  (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United’s Italian midfielder #08 Sandro Tonali applauds fans on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne  (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United’s Italian midfielder #08 Sandro Tonali applauds fans on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

“It sort of came to me when we were doing our walk that I wanted him to be at the front, to see the love closer up,” Howe said.

The 23-year-old is under investigation for alleged illegal betting offences and could be handed a lengthy ban from football if found guilty. In his pre-match press conference, Howe called for supporters to get behind the midfielder.

“A big thank you from me to our supporters today. That reception at the end today was incredible and it was emotional.

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“He’s going through an incredibly emotional time and the supporters reacted how I hoped they would. I could feel the love between him and them and that will do him the world of good, he’ll feel much better.

“We don’t know what’s ahead for him but a big thank you from me to them.”

Howe added: “He very much wanted to play and perform for sure. There was no decision to make for me, I could see that from how he’s trained so there wasn’t a part of me that went ‘he’s not ready to play football’ it was just about introducing him at the right time and I thought he did well after he came on.

“Hopefully this is a step forward to him for moving forward in his life.

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“He’s very level. Very rarely do you outwardly see the emotion, but you know it’s in there. He’s a private guy and keeps things in check really well. I’m sure he’s massively boosted by today. I haven’t spoken to him, but I’m sure it’s made a huge difference to him.”

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