Eddie Howe names Newcastle United player who 'puts out fires' amid ban threat
The Newcastle United midfielder is a booking away from a two-game ban, though a yellow card against Liverpool at St James’s Park tomorrow would not put him out of the Carabao Cup final next weekend.
Joelinton, 26, has been booked nine times in the Premier League so far this season, and Howe puts his cards down to the sheer number of “duels” he goes into each game.
“If you look at the booking (against Bournemouth) last week, I think it’s mistimed by such a small margin,” said United’s head coach. “He’s such a good transitional player. He puts out a lot of fires for us, and, to me, his positioning, his tactical understanding, is excellent, and he’s physical.
"He’s going into a lot of duels. I think his stats from duels, tackles and aerial wins this season have been incredible. With that, you’re going to get a few wrong. They’ve ended up being bookings for him.
"We’re desperate not to lose him, but we also don’t want him to change the way he plays.”
Joelinton served a ban earlier this season after picking up five league bookings.
Meanwhile, Newcastle go into the game against Liverpool – the only team to beat them in the league so far this season – unbeaten at St James’s Park.
“We've enjoyed playing at home,” said Howe. “Lately, we've been a bit frustrated as we want more goals and clearcut chances. Teams have defended well against us with a clear plan – and it's up to us to find solutions."