Eddie Howe has praised Martin Dubravka for his performance in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.
The Slovakian came in for his first Premier League appearance of the season, replacing Karl Darlow after he struggled in that 3-3 draw with Brentford at St James’ Park.
He couldn’t do much about either Arsenal goal, but Dubravka put in a solid all round display, making four saves, claiming a few crosses well and being quick off his on more than one occasion as the hosts threatened to get in behind.
Here’s what Howe had to say about the 32-year-old after the game, believing he played “very well” on his return to the starting 11:
“I think again going through the game there were some really positive signs for us.
“Martin Dubravka played very well.
“You know you’ll need a very good defensive display.
“The first 35 minutes I thought we were very good.
“We just began to sit deeper and deeper.”
He last line here is the biggest issue I had with Saturday, with our solid start quickly turning into the sort of passive display we came to expect from Steve Bruce’s NUFC.
We only started to push up the pitch and commit bodies forward when we were 2-0 down. It all felt too little, too late in the end.
Let’s hope tomorrow’s performance is much more like the one that put three past Brentford!