BBC pundit picks NUFC’s unsung hero in TOTW – & says he won us the game without scoring

BBC Pundit Garth Crooks has heaped praise on Magpies defender Federico Fernandez following Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth at St James’ Park.

This makes it two weeks in a row the former Tottenham Hotspur man has had positive words for a Newcastle United player after Jonjo Shelvey received positive comments after the win at West Ham last week.

Crooks picked Fernandez in his team of the week for his performance on Saturday and here is what he had to say about the Argentine:

“Fernandez: Ciaran Clark and DeAndre Yedlin may have been the defenders who scored Newcastle’s goals but it was Fernandez who won them the points.

It was the Argentine who was prepared to put his head in the fray to stop Joshua King from nodding home an equaliser. It was just enough for King to think about a clash of heads or a broken nose but it was enough.

In the great scheme of things, no-one can tell what this result will mean in the final analysis for either team but I sense that Newcastle will need these points more than Bournemouth.

Did you know? Fernandez had more touches (62) than any other Newcastle player against Bournemouth and his 35 passes was a joint team-high.

Fernandez looked to be heading for the exit at Newcastle not so long ago, with the centre-half finding himself way down the pecking order and with his contract expiring at the end of the season, but he’s been key over the past two games.

Central defence is without question our sides strongest area, with even the blow of the injury to captain Jamaal Lascelles on Saturday being softened by the return of Florian Lejuene and Fabian Schar. 

Both Fernandez and Clark have been excellent since coming back into the fold, and there has even been a dispute over which one got the winning goal for us at the weekend!

Whether or not Fernandez is rewarded with a new contract remains to be seen – he certainly will be if he carries on in his current form – but regardless the Toon fans are starting to appreciate the 30 year-olds contribution to this Newcastle side.

Whenever a central defender is introduced into the team after a spell on the sidelines it appears to give them that 10% extra on the pitch, something that was echoed by Paul Dummett when he spoke to The Chronicle about his determination to get back into the side.

The fight for first-team places is paying off at NUFC.

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