Why Newcastle United had ‘slight concern’ for Bruno Guimaraes at half-time versus Leicester

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Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has revealed there was “slight concern” for Bruno Guimaraes at half-time during the last-gasp win over Leicester City.

The Brazilian was at the double for the Magpies, his first goal coming in the first-half to cancel out Ademola Lookman’s opener before heading home the winner deep into injury time.

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Guimaraes received treatment on his back in the dressing room at the break and, perhaps naturally, tired as the second-half progressed.

Asked if he considered taking off the 24-year-old, Howe explained: “Being honest, no. He wasn’t one of the players I was looking to change.

“I could see he was fatigued. At half-time he had some treatment on his back. There was a slight concern there but I thought he was very important.

“The moments where we managed to play through Leicester invariably involved him. I wanted to try and keep him on the pitch.

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“We were reluctant to change the midfield too much as I felt we dealt with their threat well. But we wanted Joe Willock’s legs to give us that lift that we needed.

“Bruno, physically, to be in that box at the end is probably the biggest compliment I can pay him.”

Guimaraes’ brace took his tally up to three goals in just five starts - but Howe insists he did not sign the £35million-rated midfielder from Lyon to contribute in the goals department.

“Goals weren’t necessarily one of the areas we felt he would enhance us as a team,” Howe said. “But he has, he’s scored some key goals for us.

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“Playing him in that No.8 role, you expect your No.8 to contribute goals and assists and be creative and have a good output. And certainly the way he has started in that role he looks like he can excel in there.

“I was really pleased with him - I thought he was excellent in every aspect, especially out of possession because we struggled to get possession of the ball for large periods of the game.

“Our defensive shape had to be very good and due to our three midfielders in there, it was.”

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