Eddie Howe picks out three stars as Newcastle stave off Brighton threat; hails ‘popular’ signing

Eddie Howe praised his full-back as Newcastle took a point from a goalless draw with Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The South Coast stalemate means both sides remain unbeaten after two games in the fledgling campaign. Chances were few, with the Magpies having to dig deep to keep Graham Potter’s men at bay. The hosts took advantage of the best opportunities throughout the 90 minutes. And Howe acknowledged that taking something out of the game was a bonus.

“I’m still disappointed not to win but very happy to have scored a point at the end, especially in the second half,” he told reporters.

“It was a tough second half, Brighton played really well, we took advantage of our chances at times. We dug in, showed great spirit and unity, and got a valuable point.

The former Bournemouth boss has deployed Dan Burn at left-back to cover injured Matt Targett. And Howe was delighted with the way he conducted his work.

“I thought Dan did well today. It’s difficult, even if it’s a small transition on the pitch, it’s huge at the same time,” he added.

“He hadn’t played left-back for a long time, but I think he did really well today against his old side and hit a crucial block at a key moment in the game.

“Overall, I’m very happy with his attitude.”

And the boss also hailed how well Sven Botman combined with Fabian Schar to stand firm against the Seagulls’ relentless pressure.

“I think he did really well. He looked composed, solid and had a good partnership with Fabby,” he continued. “I was very happy with him and I think he did. used the ball very well, especially in the first half.

“To come here and be part of a backline that keeps a clean sheet even if it hasn’t always been calm at the back.”

Howe salutes the Pope class

Goalkeeper Nick Pope was also a busy man and made a number of top saves. He denied Adam Lallana, whose second-half header appeared to be heading for the net.

And Howe feels he’s signed a player who could make a real impact for Newcastle.

“It’s a very relaxed silhouette, very popular in the locker room and exudes a real calm,” he added. BBC Sports. “Lallana’s save was first class.

“You are only as strong as your defence, I think we have changed personnel, added strength and depth. And now we have some really good characters in this unit.

“And I think you saw it today, because we were under the cosh but we kept calm and fought.”

Next up for the Tynesiders is the challenge of playing champions Manchester City at home next Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s side look stronger than ever. And that will be a good indicator of how far Newcastle have come.

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