‘He pulled me’ - Newcastle United midfielder explains 'special' Eddie Howe chat and ‘genius’ training ground tactic

Sean Longstaff celebrates his - and Newcastle United's second - goal against BurnleySean Longstaff celebrates his - and Newcastle United's second - goal against Burnley
Sean Longstaff celebrates his - and Newcastle United's second - goal against Burnley | Getty Images

Sean Longstaff has revealed Eddie Howe reassured him of his Newcastle United importance in a recent training ground meeting.

The North Shields native bagged the second in Newcastle’s emphatic 4-1 win against Burnley. A well-taken, first-time effort from inside the area whistled into the bottom corner and helped the Magpies on their way to a routine victory.

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Longstaff has, at times, come under criticism this season from supporters. Howe opened up about how the midfielder had been playing through the pain barrier during the club’s injury crisis.

The 26-year-old’s strike at Turf Moor took his tally to seven for the campaign - his best figures since turning professional. Speaking post-match, Longstaff explained how a midweek chat with his manager prepared him for the game.

“I had a good chat with the manager this week,” Longstaff told NUFC TV. “He pulled me and reaffirmed to me all the positives that I bring to the team. Sometimes it’s nice to have that conversation and the timing was really good.

“Sometimes you can get caught up in everything that's going on outside. What people are saying, I can’t control that. Ultimately, all I can do is play football and, whatever people say, people say. It is what it is.

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“He believes in me and I really appreciate it. He and his staff have been great with me since they walked in the door. He’s a special person.” 

The midfielder also let slip the genius training ground preparation that helped him get on the score sheet. He added: “We work on patterns every day. We worked on that one yesterday. I had two identical chances (in training), so you feel a lot more confident when it comes to a match day.

“It meant a lot. It’s been a little while since the last one (goal). I try and arrive in the box and felt as though I was close last week. Today I found space and luckily the ball went in. I want to keep doing that as much as possible. When you win at the end, it makes the goal a lot more special.”

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