Newcastle United manager Ernie Howe says All White Chris Wood’s willingness to put his team first has made ‘a big difference’ to the English Premier League side’s improved form.
Though Wood has not scored in three games since joining United in the January transfer window, Howe says his contribution has been vital.
Howe told a media conference ahead of Sunday’s clash with Aston Villa:
“He’ll want that goal but it’s not lost on me the difference he’s made to that front line.
“There’s been a lot of passes that he’s had no right to either get a touch on or just knock a defender which means we’re able to spend longer in their half.
“Also his work rate and teamwork. He’s covered for Maxi (forward Allan Saint-Maximin) a couple of times when he’s out of position so for a striker to do those unselfish things has made a big difference.
“I don’t think you can underestimate all the aspects of his game that help the team.”
Newcastle have beaten Leeds United and Everton, and drawn with relegation rivals Watford, since Wood’s move from Burnley for a reported £25 million transfer fee – the most paid for an EPL player over 30.
An example of Wood’s work to help Saint-Maximin … watch how Wood moves his defender away to clear space for Maximin’s goal-bound shot in the match against Watford.