Two Geordies started Newcastle United's Carabao Cup match vs Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, and afterwards manager Eddie Howe spelled out his vision to have more North Easters in his team.
"I’d like Geordies in the team. It’s hugely important that we try and strive for that in the future, consistently," said Howe. "I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a conscious decision to recruit English players, I think you need a core of British players in any squad. I’d like that".
The Toon boss used the Third Round of the League Cup to field some fringe members of his team including Matt Targett, Elliot Anderson and Jamaal Lascelles. It was the second consecutive game in which seven British players started for Newcastle.
Two more (Kieran Trippier and Joe Willock) came on as substitutes as Newcastle edged through to the last 16 on penalties. It was a fairly uneventful 90 minutes, watched by 51,660 supporters, the most to ever watched a League Cup game inside St. James' Park.
It was also the first time fans have ever seen Newcastle United win a penalty shootout at St James' Park in the club's history. After nine penalties, the stage was set for Bruno Guimaraes to step up and seal the passage into the Fourth Round of the competition, only for the Brazilian to blaze his effort way over the crossbar after a complicated run up.
"He cares so much," said Howe afterwards. "He wants to do the best for the team now, everyone can miss a penalty and he’s not immune to that, but we’ll pick him up - he’ll be fine. I thought he did very well when he came on."
Malcolm Ebiowei stepped up for the tenth penalty but his effort was saved by England goalkeeper Nick Pope, and Newcastle were through.
Pope is one of six English-born players who have featured in all 14 of the Magpies Premier League games this season. His three shootout saves won't have gone unnoticed by Gareth Southgate, while news of Bruno's miss will have almost certainly filtered through to his national team boss, Tite who visited Newcastle earlier this month to meet with Guimaraes and watch him play vs Aston Villa.
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