Newcastle United boss responds to 'hostile' Anthony Gordon question ahead of Everton return

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Anthony Gordon is expected to receive a hostile reception when Newcastle United face Everton at Goodison Park on Thursday.

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has told Anthony Gordon not to overthink his return to Everton on Thursday night (kick-off 7:30pm).

The in-form winger makes his second visit to Goodison Park since joining the Magpies for £45million deal in January. How Gordon left angered Evertonians and he was subjected to a hostile reception when introduced as a substitute during the 4-1 win in April.

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And that will remain the case when United travel to Merseyside tomorrow hoping to make it three consecutive Premier League wins.

Newcastle United winger Anthony Gordon. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Newcastle United winger Anthony Gordon. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Newcastle United winger Anthony Gordon. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) | Getty Images

"I'm sure he would have thought about it and I'm sure he'll be going through the mental process of preparing for the game," Howe told NewcastleWorld. "My message to him would be just to play a normal game and don't overthink it.

"It's not the first time he's been back. I'm hopeful he can just concentrate on his football and continue to play as well as he has.

Asked if Gordon can thrive off atmosphere, Howe replied: "It's a difficult question to answer. I don't know. Anthony has to be prepared for whatever reception he gets and take it, but just focus on his football. That's all he can do. If you start thinking about external things that you can't control then you take your mind off what you can control.

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"He needs to control all the things that make his performance as good as he can, which he did against Manchester United, and has been doing on a consistent basis lately. It's great to see him score goals, assist goals and look like he is enjoying his football because if a player is in that frame of mind, they are going to perform better.

"That's all he's got to try and do - just enjoy the game."

After a difficult opening six months on Tyneside, Gordon has shined for Newcastle this campaign with his goal against Manchester United on Saturday his sixth og the campaign.

Indeed, there are strong calls for Gareth Southgate to name the Scouse attacker in his England squad for Euro 2024. On Saturday, the Three Lions were drawn into a group of Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia.

"I think naturally as you get older you mature," said Howe. "I had no issue with him when he first signed, he just wanted everything there and then. He wanted to play, score goals, excel and do well, which I understand and is natural but going to a new club is never easy, there's always a transitional period no matter how experienced you are.

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"I think this season we've really seen him grow and develop because of his fitness levels being so high because of his work with England in the summer. I think that really benefitted him and you're seeing now the physical output he's delivering in games is so high.

"And that's been a key reason behind his success.

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