Newcastle boss Howe explains Joe Willock being benched vs Man United

The former Arsenal man was afforded just 12 minutes of action

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has, on Sunday evening, provided an explanation for midfielder Joe Willock being confined to the bench from the off in the club’s meeting with Manchester United.

The Magpies, of course, were back in action earlier today.

Riding high on the back of a fine recent stretch of form, Howe’s troops made the trip to Old Trafford, hopeful of making it five successive Premier League outings without defeat.

And, when all was said and done in Manchester, this is precisely what the day’s visitors managed.

This came as a hard-fought 90 minutes saw both sides fail to conjure up the telling moment of quality needed to open the scoring, en route to an eventual 0-0 stalemate.

Newcastle’s commendable point on Sunday, as alluded to above, came with an ever-present from the club’s season to date having been forced to make do with a spot on the bench.

The player in question? Joe Willock.

Midfielder Willock, before today, had been afforded a starting berth in each of Newcastle’s nine league outings, seeing out the full 90 minutes in the last six, too.

Speaking post-match, Eddie Howe was therefore drawn on the ex-Arsenal talent emerging for just the final 12 minutes at Old Trafford.

And Newcastle’s boss went on to reveal that Willock, in fact, had emerged as a major doubt to feature at all this weekend, owing to a recent bout of illness:

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Conor Laird

Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.

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