Florian Lejeune reflects on ‘special’ Newcastle United return as Eddie Howe shows his class
Florian Lejeune returned to St James’ Park for the first time since being sold by Steve Bruce last year.
and live on Freeview channel 276
The former Magpies defender made his first return to Tyneside since he completed a permanent move to Alaves in June last year.
Lejeune, who is on loan at Vallecano, received a warm reception from the home crowd after being introduced as a substitute midway through the second half.
Vallecano were 2-0 down after goals from Sean Longstaff and Chris Wood but pulled one back when Lejeune was on the field via Matt Targett’s own goal.
“It makes a special game for me on a personal and collective level,” the 31-year-old said afterwards. “I think it was a good match between the two teams with a lot of intensity.
“It’s a shame we conceded a second because I think we had the opportunity to at least tie. In the end, we got back to 2-1 and we haven’t had time at all to tie.
“But on a general level, we are a good team. We all know this is a bit of a strange time in the season due to the World Cup, but I think we are doing a very good job.
“During these weeks we have played very good games against big rivals. The team is improving too.
“It is a moment when we are a little tired due to the workload of the matches but I think we are ready to push as much as possible.”
The Rafa Benitez signing was involved in a warm exchange with Magpies head coach Eddie Howe, while former teammate Jacob Murphy joined in the warm applause.