Eddie Howe issues Newcastle United update on Martin Dubravka amid Manchester United 'talks'
Eddie Howe has explained Martin Dubravka's absence at Prenton Park – amid interest in the goalkeeper from Manchester United.
Dubravka – who has lost his place in the team to summer signing Nick Pope – didn’t travel to Birkenhead for the tie, which was won by goals from Jamaal Lascelles and Chris Wood.
Howe was asked why Dubravka missed the tie. United’s head coach said: “He was feeling a little bit unwell. That’s it. In terms of anything (else) with Martin, I don't know about that."
Sky Sports reported after the fixture that Man United, looking for competition for David de Gea and Tom Heaton, have held “talks” with Newcastle over a move for 33-year-old Dubravka, who is said to be “open” to the move after starting the season on the bench.
Meanwhile, Howe was pleased with the reaction of his team to going a goal down at Prenton Park.
“It was hard-fought, competitive,” said Howe. “They were very good defensively and physically. It was a good examination of our attitude, our organisation and our commitment, and the lads passed the test with flying colours. They managed a difficult last 20 minutes superbly.
“This wasn’t about free-flowing football as much as we wanted it to be. We didn’t really get in any rhythm with the ball. Although we had a lot of it, I don’t think we penetrated enough.
“But what we did do well is we dug in – and found a way to win.”