Sven Botman's place on Newcastle United bench explained by Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe has explained his decision to start Sven Botman on Newcastle United’s bench.

The £35million defender came made an injury-time debut in this afternoon’s 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest at St James’s Park. Howe started with Fabian Schar and Dan Burn in the centre of defence.

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Schar and Callum Wilson were on target for Newcastle, who were dominant against Steve Cooper’s newly-promoted side.

“They (Schar and Burn) were excellent second half of last season together with Jamaal (Lascelles), who more than played his part. All three centre-backs, for me, were excellent, but we needed more strength in depth.

"We couldn’t rely this season on three. Obviously, Fede Fernandez has had quite a few injury problems. We felt it was a position we needed to strengthen.

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"Sven was a long-term target for us. We were delighted to sign. I think this period, however long it is before he gets his opportunity to start, will do him the world of good. He’ll get to know the league, he’ll get to know the speed.

"I’ve got no doubts about him as a player. He’ll be a top player for this football club in my opinion. But there’s real competition for places. Dan and Fabian and Jamaal, they’re not going to give their shirts us easily.

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Newcastle United players Elliot Anderson and Sven Botman arrive at St James's Park.

"That’s a battle I’ll love to see unfold, and knowing I’ve got that quality certasinly bodes well for the season.”

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United captain Jamaal Lascelles felt his thigh in the warm-up and was replaced on the bench by Paul Dummett.