This was Eddie Howe’s reaction to Sven Botman’s Newcastle United error v Nottingham Forest

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Eddie Howe’s reaction to Sven Botman’s Newcastle United error v Nottingham Forest.

Sven Botman’s Friday was eventful in more ways than one as he ended it by celebrating a 93rd-minute winner for Newcastle United at Nottingham Forest.

Before taking to the field at the City Ground, the 23-year-old was told the news of his first-ever senior call-up for the Netherlands as Ronald Koeman named his first squad since succeeding Louis van Gaal.

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For such a proud milestone, you’d guess Botman will have reacted with sheer delight but come the 26th minute in Nottingham, the Dutchman might have wanted the ground to swallow him up.

A long punt forward by former Magpies midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was collected by Botman. He took the route back to Nick Pope but his pass was cut out by Emmanuel Dennis, who capitalised fully to hand Forest the advantage.

AFP via Getty Images

It was an error Botman hadn’t once looked like making since his £35million summer move from Lille, so it was no wonder the near 3,000-strong away end, and those watching on TV, were left stunned.

But then was a test of the Dutchman’s character, and United head coach Eddie Howe, like many others, felt he passed.

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"He’s been incredibly consistent for us this season, he’s been a rock at the heart of our defence,” said Howe. “We all make mistakes, I thought he responded very well in a difficult moment. It’ll be good for his learning to have gone through that."

Fortunately, it didn’t cost Newcastle. Paul Tierney and VAR tried their best to ensure it did, before Alexander Isak, who netted the equaliser in first half stoppage time - kept his cool from the penalty spot right at the death.

Botman’s performances this season have already led to debates about him being a world class defender in making. Admittedly, there’s still some way to go before that tag rings true, but the signs remain positive.

Even in his worst moment of the campaign, Botman showed a strong mentality to quickly put the mistake to the back of his mind and go again. That is one of the key traits to becoming an elite player.

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Now, Botman links up with the Holland squad for the next 10 days or so, and will wait and see if a potential debut against France or Gibraltar is in the offing. Certainly, for how he’s performed for Newcastle - statistically the best defence in the Premier League this term - it would be more than deserved.

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