Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has said he will speak to his players alongside Allan Saint-Maximin on Friday after the Frenchman appeared to...
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has said he will speak to his players alongside Allan Saint-Maximin on Friday after the Frenchman appeared to criticise his team-mates in a magazine interview this week.
Howe said that Saint-Maximin, 25, visited him on Thursday to discuss the interview he gave to the French publication So Foot, and how his quotes might be interpreted.
In the interview Saint-Maximin praised the club’s ownership, Eddie Howe and fanbase, but a long answer he gave on his productivity made headlines in England and France.
The magazine quotes Saint-Maximin as saying: “Those who have played with me know very well that in terms of pure quality, I have nothing to envy (from) Sadio Mane.
“The day when I have a player capable of finishing the (assists), I will have seasons with 10-15 assists, and I will change opinions in the people’s heads.”
Saint-Maximin later tweeted: “The interview I did with Sofoot has been taken out of context and shortened on Twitter. I never said anything negative about my team-mates, I simply said as any Newcastle fan would that I was looking forward to having an even better team so that we could progress collectively.
“And that as a result I could also progress individually.”
And Howe insisted that Saint-Maximin had been misinterpreted.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, ahead of the club’s game against Manchester City, Howe said: “I saw the quotes and I spoke with Allan.
“I think I need to make this clear that Allan’s quotes didn’t come across in the way he meant them to.
“He was concerned yesterday. We spoke and in no way did he mean to damage the team and the unity we’ve built so of course he said things in an interview. It wasn’t in the context he meant, although it happened.
“We will be speaking with the squad and making sure there is no fallout because unity has been our strength and it’s vitally important that we keep that at all costs.”
Howe added that the Frenchman was unlikely to be disciplined for the interview.
He said: “I have accepted his explanation. It is very difficult when things are being translated from another language, that is always a slight concern. I was happy with Maxi’s explanation of it.
“Ideally I wouldn’t want any of my players speaking about anything other than themselves and their own career. I don’t think players need to talk about other players or other players from other clubs.
“I have no concerns over his mood. I don’t think I will be fining him for that situation. I think it’s more a case of education and making sure the players know what we expect.”
Saint-Maximin has played 32 times in the Premier League this season, scoring five goals and registering four assists.
Newcastle sit 10th in the Premier League table ahead of their trip to Manchester City.Howe and Saint-Maximin to discuss interview with Newcastle squad - The Athletic View Story