EDDIE Howe says Anthony Gordon is reaping the rewards of his tireless training ground efforts and desire to improve and felt the winger enjoyed his best game for Newcastle United in the 8-0 hammering of Sheffield United.

Gordon started as a substitute at Bramall Lane but was called into the action early on after Harvey Barnes suffered a toe injury - and the former Everton winger put in a devastating display from the bench.

He teed up Sean Longstaff for the first of Newcastle's eight goals and got in on the act himself, scoring the fifth when he cut in from the left and curled beautifully into the far corner.

Howe said: "I think that's probably his best game for us. I thought he was very, very good, very direct. His goal was outstanding, he assisted at least one that I can remember. He just looked a real threat.

"He has so much ability and so much to give. And he has the attitude to go with it. His desire to improve, I see it every day in training. He's usually one of the last off the training pitch and it's great to see him rewarded."

Gordon was part of the England Under-21 squad that won the European Championships in the summer but will undoubtedly be in the thinking of senior boss Gareth Southgate after his display at Sheffield United and his performance against Liverpool earlier in the season.

Howe said: "I'm sure Gareth is aware of him and I'm sure he's been aware of him for a long time.

"All Anthony can do is just keep performing, like he has, keep his mentality as strong as it's been. He's been a joy to work with and he's reaping the benefits."


There is one concern for Howe where Gordon is concerned. The 22-year-old has already picked up four bookings this season, meaning he's just one away from a one-game suspension. With Barnes now an injury concern and with Joelinton and Joe Willock on the sidelines, Howe doesn't want to lose any more attacking players.

He said: "Of course it's a concern. Injuries in one position will hurt us this year. we've been missing two midfielders and that's been a concern for us.

"Losing Harvey won't be something we take lightly. The suspensions are something we'll have to live with. A couple of Anthony's bookings have been very harsh but that's why we have the squad we have and hopefully we can cover anyone's absence."