Newcastle boss Eddie Howe tells Anthony Gordon to ignore hostile reception on return to Everton
Anthony Gordon has been told to ignore what promises to be a hostile reception from Everton fans on his return to Goodison Park.
The 22-year-old linked up with Newcastle in January from the Toffees in a deal rising to £45million.
In what was one of the biggest sagas of the winter transfer window, the Everton academy graduate failed to turn up to training for three days in a row to force through the move.
His switch to St James’ Park didn’t go down well with the Everton faithful after he departed in acrimonious circumstances.
And Eddie Howe, who was involved in a touchline spat with Gordon in the win away at Brentford earlier this month, has urged the forward to shut out the noise in Thursday night’s clash – live on talkSPORT 2.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Magpies boss was asked whether he has to be mindful about the reaction the youngster may receive.
To which he said: “You don’t want to have or do anything that impacts the team, which is the most important thing.
“This is something surrounding the game, but is not influencing the game in terms of tactical preparation.
“There is nothing I can do to change that. It’s something we need to be mindful of, but I’m not too sure – other than concentrating on how we play – what we can do?”
Howe added: “It is very difficult for me to comment on how he left because I was not party to what happened, or what went on.
“I can only really comment on the player I have seen, and he has been very, very good.
“He’s trained very well, and as I’ve said many times he’s very passionate.
“He wants to achieve, he wants to do very well in his career. So from that side, what happened at Everton I can’t really comment on.
“He’s fine, he’s in a good place and he’s looking forward to the game.”
Though Howe stressed he believes Gordon has enough about him to thrive in any atmosphere.
“The beauty is that he has seen the Everton crowd many times. He will have no surprises about what to expect.
“He would have seen other players go back and receive mixed receptions. Hopefully, he has seen enough to be robust and deal with what happens.
“It’s about staying very present and not thinking too much, just play the game – which is easier said than done in that environment, where he will probably feel that all eyes are focused on him.”
Gordon is likely to find himself on the bench against Everton with the Engand Under-21 international yet to chip in with a goal contribution in any of his nine Premier League games for Newcastle.
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