Eddie Howe singles out ‘top quality’ West Ham star for his performance v Newcastle United

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Newcastle United played out a 1-1 draw with West Ham United at St James’ Park.

Eddie Howe highlighted Declan Rice’s performance as key to denying Newcastle United all three points against West Ham United.

The Magpies were held to a 1-1 draw by the 16th-place Hammers at St James’ Park. Callum Wilson opened the scoring in the third minute but Lucas Paqueta equalised half an hour later.

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Without Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton dropped back into the midfield three alongside Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock. Howe was pleased with his midfielders’ display but set aside special praise for Rice when asked about the England international’s showing.

“He’s very good but that’s no surprise,” Howe said. “He’s a top-quality player. He’s done it on the international stage. You could feel his presence in midfield today.

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

“We had a plan to try and dominate that midfield area but it didn’t quite materialise. But when you look at him and (Lucas) Paqueta, they’re top quality players.

“They’re a very good team to beat them you need to be at the top of your game. The most disappointing thing in that first half is the goal we conceded but that’s been very unlike us this season.”

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Howe admitted United missed Guimaraes, who served the first of his three-match suspension following his straight red card against Southampton in midweek.

The 45-year-old said: “Yeah I think we missed Bruno today but I think we’re always going to miss Bruno because he’s so unique and slightly different. But I do think our midfield players today played well.

“I don’t think it’s a criticism of them, he’s irreplaceable. We missed his creative eye probably more than anything else. It was a great start for us but we just didn’t build on that great start and that’s the disappointing thing,

“I thought we allowed West Ham into the game and probably got punished for that.”

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