Eddie Howe admits the Newcastle United levels have ‘dipped’ after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Newcastle began the season with a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest on August 6. However, they haven’t picked up another win since then. The Magpies have now drawn five matches, as well as losing to Liverpool at the end of last month.
Howe’s men almost took the lead in the 27th minute when Kieran Trippier hit the post from a free-kick. This came after Bruno Guimaraes had been brought down in a good position.
Neither team could break the deadlock in the first half though and the score was 0-0 at the break.
Newcastle went behind in the 62nd minute when Philip Billing connected with a Jordan Zemura cross to beat Nick Pope.
However, the Cherries’ lead only lasted five minutes. Trippier was picked out on the right flank and put in a Newcastle cross. It hit Jefferson Lerma’s arm and this forced the referee to give a penalty kick.
Newcastle’s record signing Alexander Isak stepped up and made no mistake, sending Neto the wrong way to bag his first home goal.
The Magpies couldn’t get a second though and they once again dropped points, as the match ended 1-1.
Eddie Howe reacts to latest Newcastle draw
During a post-match interview, Howe cut a frustrated figure. He said (via Chronicle Live): “That’s below the levels we set ourselves. For the first time this season those levels dipped. We were off with every aspect of our game.”
He continued: “There’s a big sense of frustration in terms of points we have. But the reality is we haven’t won the games we should have. A lot of games with clearcut chances and we weren’t clinical enough.”
On goalscorer Isak, who failed to have an impact for large parts of the match, Howe said: “Our game plan is not to isolate him. We’re playing with several attacking players so we’ll look at why it didn’t work today.”
When asked about VAR’s decision to give Newcastle a penalty, the manager said: “I’ve only seen a quick replay of it. But if it was a clear handball then that’s why we have VAR.”
Newcastle were without exciting winger Allan Saint-Maximin. He is recovering from a hamstring problem and has now missed three league games.
On the Frenchman, Howe added: “There’s a massive hole for someone like Maxi in a game like this when you need a little magic to unlock the door.”
Howe is right – Newcastle could really do with Saint-Maximin returning to full fitness. They seem to lack attacking threat without him and have scored just twice while he has been in the treatment room.
Newcastle will look to pick up their second league win of the campaign after the international break. They come up against Fulham on Saturday October 1 at 15:00.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, play Brentford on the same day and at the same time.
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