Eddie Howe’s Miguel Almiron admission amid Jack Grealish’s jibe about Newcastle United star

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Jack Grealish said in May: “There were two secrets… number one, Riyad (Mahrez), taking him off the pitch, as soon as possible. He played like (Miguel) Almiron...”

Eddie Howe refused to drawn on Jack Grealish’s jibe at Miguel Almiron by insisting the Newcastle United star needs no extra motivation.

On Sunday afternoon, Almiron and Grealish will come face-to-face for the first time since the Manchester City winger aimed a classless dig at the Paraguayan’s expense.

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Grealish, during Man City’s Premier League title celebration parade, joked the “secrets” behind the 3-2 comeback against Aston Villa on the final day of last season was Riyad Mahrez being substituted because he “played like Almiron”.

During Howe’s pre-match City press conference, the Magpies head coach was asked about Grealish’s disparaging comments and whether or not he’d used the comments to try and motivated Almiron.

Newcastle United winger Miguel Almiron. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Newcastle United winger Miguel Almiron. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Newcastle United winger Miguel Almiron. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Howe is keen to stay away from the topic, both in the media and when chatting to Almiron ahead of the game.

“I haven’t broached that subject,” said Howe. “I don’t think it’s something we really need to discuss.

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“I see with Miggy a very happy person whose very content with his football. He’s in a really good place, very positive and I don’t see someone who needs extra motivation.

“He’s an incredible person, has a real passion and desire to play football for Newcastle.

“I’ll speak to him about his game and make sure he is prepared in his normal way to deliver a performance.”

Supporters group Wor Flags hinted earlier this week they have something planned for the pre-match flag display after tweeting #PlayLikeAlmiron with an eyes emoji.

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While Newcastle fans plan to give Grealish and Pep Guardiola’s side a hostile reception, Howe has called on his players to keep “cool heads”.

“We need to play the game with cool heads,” the 44-year-old said, “We need to have fire in our hearts but we need to play with discipline. We can’t lose that.

“I’ll back our players, they’re very good professionals. We need to keep all players on the pitch in every game.”

Almiron was a man in form during pre-season as he netted six times to earn back-to-back starts against Nottingham Forest and Brighton & Hove Albion.

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“If you actually looked at his performances towards the end of last season he was excellent,” Howe added. “He may not of got the goals that maybe highlighted those performances but certainly in pre-season he did. I was really pleased with pre-season he delivered.

“The first two games, he’s had very good games. Again, he hasn’t quite got the goals to elevate his performances to another level but I thought he was probably our standout performer against Brighton.

“There’s so much more to come from Miggy. Everyone knows how good he is off the ball, he’s got an incredible attitude off the ball and he really epitomises the way we want to play out of possession. But on the ball, he’s done some very good things. He’s continuing to improve. “

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