Eddie Howe: Confidence is key for in-form Joelinton at Newcastle United

Eddie Howe has helped transform Joelinton into a key midfield player at Newcastle United following his arrival back in November.

The decision to deploy the Brazilian forward in a deeper role has been an inspired one following a series of combative displays in the middle of the park.

Joelinton was named man of the match in Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at St James's Park.

The 25-year-old has taken to his new role with a surprising level of effectiveness given his lack of experience playing in midfield.

Joelinton of Newcastle United runs with the ball past Jadon Sancho of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park on December 27, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But Howe has quickly recognised Joelinton’s characteristics as a player and enabled him to play to his strengths with new-found confidence.

“First and foremost, he's given me everything as in, he's really bought into what we've tried to do,” the Newcastle head coach told The Gazette.

"He's worked incredibly hard for his team and his teammates. I thought his performances have been very consistent, I think he's been outstanding.

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"[Against Manchester United], defensively the job we asked him to do was very, very good. He's delivered an outstanding performance based on a very high level of understanding, which is so rare when you consider he's performed the majority of his career in a different position.

"But also his technical quality, in tight areas he's able to receive the ball and find his way out of really difficult situations, that has been very, very good. I think he's playing with real confidence and hopefully that can continue and he can achieve even more.”

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