What Anthony Gordon has told Eddie Howe ahead of Everton return with Newcastle United
Newcastle United forward Anthony Gordon visits Goodison Park for the first time since leaving Everton in January.
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The Magpies make the trip to Goodison Park tomorrow evening (kick-off 7:45pm) and a lot of the pre-match centres around the 22-year-old.
Gordon ended his 11-year spell at Goodison Park in January to join United in a £45million deal, and his exit has left a bitter taste in the mouths of Evertonians.
As a result, he’s expected to get a hostile reception but Howe believes the forward is in a “good place” ahead of the game.
“It’s very difficult for me to comment on how he left because I’m not party to what happened and what went on,” said Howe. “I can only really comment on the player that I’ve seen and he’s been very, very good, trained really well, as I’ve said many times, very passionate, wants to achieve, wants to do really well in his career.
“What happened at Everton, I can’t really comment on, but he’s fine. He’s in a good place and he’s looking forward to the game.”
Howe is aware of Everton supporters’ feelings towards Gordon and admits he is mindful of how that could impact the team as a whole.
Asked by NewcastleWorld, Howe said: "Yes, definitely, but I don’t necessarily know what I can do about that to change it, if that makes sense.
“You don’t want to have or do anything that impacts the team, which is the most important thing. This is something surrounding the game but is not influencing the game in terms of tactical preparation.
“There is nothing I can do to change that. It’s something we need to be mindful of but I’m not too sure other than concentrating on how we play and what we can do."
Howe added: “It’s staying very present and not thinking too much, just play the game – which is easier said than done in that environment where probably all eyes will be, he’ll feel, focused on him.
“I don’t want it to become a big talking point in the game. For me, it’s not important. It’s important for Anthony and it’s important that he comes through the game in a good way, but what’s important is that the team functions and we show our best selves.”
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