EDDIE HOWE has defended his decision to keep Dan Burn on the field for more than an hour of Newcastle United’s 4-4 draw with Luton Town.

Burn had an extremely difficult afternoon as he was repeatedly beaten on the outside by Luton’s lively winger Chiedozie Ogbene.

The full-back was clearly struggling in the first half, but Howe opted to keep him on the field for the second period and things got worse when he tugged back Ogbene to concede a penalty shortly before the hour mark.


Seven minutes later, and Burn was out of position again as Ross Barkley teed up Elijah Adebayo to fire home Luton’s fourth goal.

At the stage, the St James’ Park were chanting for Tino Livramento, and Howe eventually relented in the 63rd minute, introducing the summer signing from Southampton as a substitute for Burn.

“Dan has been absolutely outstanding since he arrived at the football club,” said the Newcastle boss. “He played a huge part in our brilliant season last year, and our excellent defensive record.

“Four days ago, I thought he was magnificent against Aston Villa. He was a big part of why we played so well. Tino is an outstanding player, and no doubt will have a huge bearing on our future. But there’s more than one aspect of the game to think about when I pick the team.”

Nevertheless, Howe admitted his side’s defensive display was not good enough as they conceded four goals in the opening 62 minutes. Newcastle have now conceded ten goals in their last three home games, having taken 16 previous matches to let in the same number.

“It’s very unlike us,” said Howe. “Even in the early season, while we weren’t perfect defensively, we were tight enough. The last few games here have been far from ideal, defensively, and that’s certainly something we’ll go away and look at.

“We’ll try to find answers to that. Today, from a defensive point of view, we’re disappointed, I can tell you that right now.

“The first goal was especially disappointing. We’d worked hard to take the lead, then we concede from a set-play. It was an innocuous ball into the box, but we didn’t deal with it, there were two headers, and we were punished.”

Howe was, however, pleased with the spirit his side showed as they regrouped after falling 4-2 behind to successfully rally and claim a point.

“It’s something we haven’t done enough this year,” he said. “We’d only taken one point from a losing position before today. We haven’t chased games as strategically as I’d wanted, so today I thought was a big step forward.

“The players kept going, we still looked a goal threat, and the substitutes made a difference, you can’t underestimate that. We had some power from the bench – Harvey (Barnes) and Callum (Wilson) came on and made our performance better.”