Eddie Howe insists Loris Karius can be ‘really proud’ of his performance for Newcastle United in their defeat to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.
Karius had not played a competitive game in two years before Sunday’s final at Wembley but was called into action following Nick Pope’s suspension and Martin Dubravka being ineligible having played for Manchester United earlier in the competition.
The former Liverpool goalkeeper was beaten by a deflection for United’s second goal but pulled off three excellent saves after that, including a late stop to deny Bruno Fernandes in the closing stages of the game.
When asked to give his verdict on Karius’ performance after the final, Howe said: ‘I think he did really well,
‘I think his all-round demeanour was good, his distribution was good. I thought he made some great saves, especially when we were chasing the game.
‘He was always going to have to play well in that second half as we were leaving grass behind our back line, but he can be really proud of his efforts today.’
Howe also praised his team’s performance at Wembley but admitted Newcastle’s end product let them down.
‘We played really well between both boxes today, we gave everything but we just didn’t get those breaks at both ends,’ Howe said.
‘We should have defended the free kick better and then the second goal is a killer.
‘We did everything to get back in the game. We had chances but couldn’t take them and that’s why we lost.
‘No complaints with how we played, obviously the scoreline doesn’t say that, and that’s where football can be cruel.
‘Individually and collectively I thought we played well but it just didn’t happen in the box and we need to work on that. I can’t take positives from losing but I can from the performance. They’ve been committed and give everything for the club.’
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