Eddie Howe makes Newcastle United transfer admission after surprise move
Howe reluctantly sanctioned the sale of midfielder Jonjo Shelvey to Friday night's opponents Nottingham Forest in January.
Shelvey – who missed the start of the season through injury – was in the final year of his contract at Newcastle, though he was close to triggering a one-year contract extension.
Howe – who also loaned striker Chris Wood to Forest in the window – admitted at the time that the departures had left the club “light in a couple of areas”.
And Howe, preparing for the club’s visit to the City Ground, has spoken about the surprise sale, which left him short in midfield.
"Yeah, we are light in midfield,” said United’s head coach, who has lost midfielder Joeltinon to a two-game suspension.
“I don't think it was a risk I took. It wasn’t a decision wanted to take.
"It wasn't a premeditated decision by me to take that risk. It was 99% out of my hands that Jonjo was going to leave, so, yeah, we sort of feel a bit of hole left with his presence gone, but it's happened – and now we have to make the best out of the situation.”
Shelvey – who was injured when he joined Forest – returned to action last month, and the 31-year-old last week spoke about the “electric” atmosphere at the City Ground.
“Until I came here, I didn’t realise how loud the ground can be,” said Shelvey. “The atmosphere’s electric, even when you go out to warm up, it gets you right in the mood for the game.
“I know what the club has won in the past, but I’m probably too young to understand the history in terms of where it has been, but my dad is the one who said to me ‘you don’t realise how big of a club Forest is’.
“You only have to walk around the city, and the people remind you how big of a club it is.
"The pictures that are hung up on the walls at the training ground, the atmosphere here on a matchday, it makes you realise how big of a club it is.”