It wasn’t the best performance we have seen this season, but it was a valuable three points. Newcastle managed to take the lead three times at the City Ground and eventually managed to see it through. There is still a lot to learn as we attempt to build positive momentum. Below we rate the performance of each player.
Martin Dubravka – 5 – Unfortunately Martin Dubravka wasn’t at his best on Saturday. He made a smart stop from Anthony Elanga in the first half, but he was indecisive off his line on too many occasions. In the second half, he came close to conceding a penalty, when a better starting position would have seen him clear the danger before Taiwo Awoniyi got on the end of the pass. Nick Pope continues to be missed.
Kieran Trippier – 7 – It was a smart assist for the first goal, with the weight of delivery perfect. Trippier was used in a different role today, as he was inverting into midfield when we had the ball. There were some nice signs from him in this role and it will hopefully improve our control of games if we persist with it.
Fabian Schar – 7 – Another great goal from the Swiss defender, who is carrying a huge threat at set pieces. He drove out with the ball on a few occasions and was reliable in possession, with 88% pass accuracy.
Sven Botman – 6 – Like Trippier, it was a new role for Botman, as he was playing as the centre of three defenders and he had larger spaces to defend as a result. The first Forest goal could have been defended better by Botman, but aside from that, he was solid.
Dan Burn – 6 – It wasn’t Dan Burn back to his best, but the new system did help protect him. Anthony Elanga managed to get the better of him on a couple of occasions. It threatened to become a repeat of the Luton game. However, Burn did recover well and he played his part in the win. It was better, but he remains the player that opposition teams target.
Lewis Miley – 5.5 – The midfield balance was an issue once again on Saturday. Lewis Miley is playing in a difficult situation and it will be a steep learning curve for him. There were some nice contributions from him, but he was poor for the first goal as he allowed Morgan Gibbs-White to have the freedom of the midfield. We have a huge talent on our hands, but we are asking too much of him at the moment.
Sean Longstaff – 6.5 – It was better from Longstaff at Forest. He continued to provide forward drive with his off the ball runs and he came close to opening the scoring early in the game. Longstaff was solid and his work rate was on show to everyone. The midfield balance remains a problem though, as he and Miley are very similar.
Bruno Guimaraes – 9.5 – This was an excellent attacking performance from Bruno Guimaraes as he scored two goals. The first was an excellently worked set piece routine that he finished smartly, while the second was good anticipation followed by a good finish. He made 11 recoveries and was fouled three times, as he battled well. The Brazilian looks a lot happier in the more advanced role.
Miguel Almiron – 5 – It was a tough afternoon for Almiron, as he didn’t really have any opportunities to run with the ball. He was coming too deep to collect the ball and he was easily dealt with. Howe withdrew him just before the 60 minute mark.
Callum Wilson – 4.5 – After coming back from injury, Wilson struggled in his first start, with his hold up play not to standard. The ball kept bouncing off him and his decision making when he did manage to turn his defender was poor. Wilson was too selfish when he did find space and several attacks broke down. Hopefully, he will improve as he starts to shake off the ring rust.
Anthony Gordon 7 – It was a surprise to see him with the squad and an even bigger one to see him in the eleven. Gordon was our best outlet in attack though, as he looked after the ball and looked a threat. He tired as the game went on and probably stayed on the pitch too long.
Harvey Barnes 6 – There were some nice touches from Barnes, but he didn’t really have a chance to influence the game as we were trying to manage the game. There was a crucial contribution from him in stoppage time to help us get up the pitch.
Tino Livramento – N/A
Emil Krafth – N/A