Former Man United man hails ‘outstanding’ Newcastle United midfielder after first goal in a year

Newcastle United midfielder Jeff Hendrick scored his first competitive goal of 2022 while on loan at Reading.

The 30-year-old scored a stunning edge of the box strike to secure a 1-1 draw for the Royals at home to Norwich City in the Championship on Tuesday night.

Former Newcastle defender Grant Hanley had given Norwich the lead in the second half before Hendrick made it 1-1 10 minutes later.

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It was the Irishman’s first league goal since finding the net off the bench for Newcastle in a 2-1 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers last October.

Jeff Hendrick of Reading FC controls the ball during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Reading and West Ham United at Select Car Leasing Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Reading, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Hendrick spent the second half of last season on loan at Queens Park Rangers before being loaned out again to Reading for the 2022-23 season in the summer. His contract at St James’s Park is set to expire at the end of next season with Newcastle still heavily subsidising his wages whilst on loan.

Following Reading’s 1-1 draw, head coach Paul Ince highlighted Hendrick’s impressive goalscoring performance.

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“It was a hard-earned point,” Ince said. “We were very good in the first half and disappointed at half-time not to be winning. It was then disappointing to concede the first goal, I don’t like conceding from set-pieces – we spend a lot of time on that.

“But we got spurred on by the crowd and the players again showed that bouncebackability – they never gave in. We thoroughly deserved to get the equaliser from Jeff, who I thought was outstanding.

“The lads are in the changing-room and they’re disappointed that they’ve not won the game, that we’ve not got the three points. That’s how far we’ve come.”