Harvey Barnes is refusing to give up on Newcastle’s quest for a second successive top-four finish after drawing a line under his injury misery.

The 26-year-old had not kicked a ball in anger since September 24 after damaging a toe in the Magpies’ 8-0 Premier League win at Sheffield United just seven appearances into his career on Tyneside following a £38million summer switch from Leicester.

There were eight goals once again on his return, but thanks to his intervention they were shared evenly as Eddie Howe’s men, who had led 1-0 and 2-1, fought back from 4-2 down to snatch a 4-4 draw courtesy of his equaliser on a remarkable afternoon at St James’ Park.

 

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Asked afterwards if Newcastle – currently 13 points off fourth – could still make a push for the Champions League places, Barnes said: “This team is capable of great things, as we showed last year.

“We have shown it in spells this year too. When we are on top of our game, we can go on a great run and climb the table quickly.”

The Magpies, who ended a run of four successive Premier League defeats with a 3-1 win at in-form Aston Villa in midweek, looked to be on their way to another when Sean Longstaff fired them ahead and then after Gabriel Osho had levelled, restored their advantage.

However, with wide man Chiedozie Ogbene tormenting full-back Dan Burn from the off, the lead was never comfortable.

Ross Barkley made it 2-2 before the break, and Carlton Morris’ twice-taken penalty and a fourth from Elijah Adebayo had the Hatters in dreamland with 62 minutes played.

Howe chose to introduce Barnes in the aftermath and after Kieran Trippier had reduced the deficit, it was he who ultimately rescued a point with 17 minutes remaining as late flurries at both ends came to nothing.

Asked what his instructions had been, Barnes said: “I was just told to go out and make an impact. I’ve been out that long.

“This has been my toughest period in football, how long I’ve been out. Signing for a new club and being hit with injury is a hard thing. I have been working hard.

“It was great to get a goal, but disappointing not to get three points.”

Barnes’ return, along with that of striker Callum Wilson, provided Howe with a welcome boost, but Anthony Gordon’s half-time departure with an ankle injury and the concession of 10 goals in his side’s last three home games provided further food for thought.

Howe said: “The last few games here have been far from ideal defensively and it’s certainly something that we’ll go away and look at and try to find answers to.”

If Howe’s emotions were mixed, so too were those of opposite number Rob Edwards, whose disappointment at not hanging on to the lead was tempered by his pride in the performance.

 

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Edwards said: “It’s nice to be able to come to a huge ground like this, a huge football club, a team that’s been competing in the Champions League this year, a team that’s competing to get in the Champions League again this year and take the game to them.

“That’s pleasing and that’s good to see, but it doesn’t surprise me. We’ve been showing it now for quite a while.”

Relieved Newcastle boss Eddie Howe was delighted to see Harvey Barnes return to action with a bang as he came off the bench to snatch a thrilling 4-4 draw with Luton for the Magpies.

Barnes, who had been out of action since September 24 with a toe injury, was introduced as a 63rd-minute substitute with his side trailing 4-2 to the promoted Hatters having led 1-0 and 2-1, and it was his strike 10 minutes later which ensured the spoils were shared.

Asked about his £38million summer signing, head coach Howe said: “That’s what Harvey does, that’s why we brought him to the football club.

“He is a goalscorer. His record last year at Leicester was incredible and we hoped, of course, that he would come here and bring goals to us.

“Unfortunately, he’s missed such a big part of the season and it’s huge to get him back I thought it was an incredible finish off his wrong foot, a really, really good goal and I think he had another chance late on as well, so I was really pleased with his impact.”

In a chaotic encounter, Sean Longstaff twice fired the Magpies ahead only for Gabriel Osho and then Ross Barkley, who turned in a fine individual display, to level before the break.

Carlton Morris’ twice-taken penalty saw the visitors go ahead for the first time and when Elijah Adebayo made it 4-2 in the 62nd minute, they looked to be on the way to another impressive win after their 4-0 midweek success over Brighton.

 

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However, Kieran Trippier’s volley dragged Newcastle back to within a single goal before Barnes struck to set up a grandstand finish during which Jacob Murphy and Chiedozie Ogbene might have won it for their respective sides.

 

Howe, who lost Anthony Gordon to an ankle injury, said: “With the way we started, I thought this could be a really memorable game for us. But credit to Luton, they responded really well and made it difficult for us.

“It was a really open game, with two teams going right at each other. It was probably a great game for the neutral, but not so much if you’re associated to us because there was a huge determination to win, and we’re disappointed not to.”

Opposite number Rob Edwards shared similarly conflicting feelings on a day when his side once again proved its top-flight credentials.

Edwards said: “We wanted to be brave, which we were, [showed] loads of character, resilience and quality to get back into the game after going behind twice, and after going two goals up, tinged with a little bit of disappointment that we weren’t able to see it out.

“But I’ve got to respect the opposition and the level of the team, the quality of the players that we were coming up against, once they’d got that third goal back, there as still a lot of time on the clock wasn’t there and the almost inevitable happened and they got the equaliser.

“What I was pleased with was our character, our resilience and then actually some quality to keep it at 4-4 and keep pushing.

“I felt sick at times, I felt elation at times. I felt really proud watching my team play and overall, I think a point was a fair result.”

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has told summer signing Harvey Barnes he will still have a key role this season despite seeing him ruled out until the new year.

The 25-year-old is facing at least three months on the sidelines with the foot injury he suffered during Sunday’s 8-0 Premier League win at Sheffield United, an absence which will rule him out of the group stage of the club’s first Champions League campaign for 20 years.

However, head coach Howe is confident his £38million summer signing from Leicester will still have a significant part to play as the Magpies attempt to cope with a congested fixture schedule.

Asked how England international Barnes had taken the news, Howe said: “He’s a very stable, level lad; he’s a great character.

“Yes, he’s hugely disappointed and frustrated because he wanted to show everybody what he could do here and wanted to contribute.

“He’s very recently a new dad, which is a great moment in his life.

“I always say when these things happen you have to try and draw the positives, and he’ll have the chance to be with his family maybe a bit more than he would have been.

“Things will settle down and then when he comes back, which will quickly be around the corner, he’ll have a big part to play for the rest of the season.”

Barnes was sent for a scan after going down just 12 minutes into the game at Bramall Lane – just his second start for the club – and although that examination confirmed there is no fracture and that surgery is not required to repair damage under his toe, his foot has been placed in a protective boot and his recovery will take some time.

Howe said: “It’s not a fracture. I don’t actually know the right term to use, but it is an unusual injury and they’re a little bit baffled as to how it’s come about and why it’s come about.

“Sometimes as much as you try to find a reason, sometimes there is no reason, it’s just one of those things that happens.

“I think he knew straight away. You could see him go down on the pitch – it’s very unusual to see that. He said he knew straight away that he had a problem.

“It’s come at a shocking time for Harvey because he was just beginning to find his rhythm. He had a good pre-season and was getting to know his team-mates and what’s expected here.

“With so many games coming up, to lose any player is a huge blow for us. We have to deal with it, accept it and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Newcastle winger Harvey Barnes could be facing months on the sidelines as he awaits a specialist’s verdict on the foot injury he suffered at Sheffield United.

The 25-year-old limped out of Sunday’s 8-0 Premier League demolition job at Bramall Lane after just 12 minutes, and head coach Eddie Howe fears he could miss a significant proportion of the campaign with surgery a possibility.

Asked if Barnes could be out for some time, Howe said: “Yes, we’re fearing it’s going to be. It’s difficult. I don’t want to put a time on it until we get confirmation from the specialist, but I think it will be months rather than weeks.”

The England international, who joined the Magpies in a £38million summer switch from Leicester, suffered his injury as he pushed off to run in South Yorkshire and has since undergone a scan.

Howe said: “It’s an injury to a part of the foot just below the toe. I think it’s quite a substantial injury. We’ve had it scanned, we’re waiting now for a specialist’s opinion on what to do next, whether there’s surgery involved or not.

“I don’t think it was a tackle, I think it was just pushing off to run, a very unusual injury. I won’t go too technical because I’m not medically qualified to do so, but yes, very unusual.”

Any extended absence would come as a blow to both a player who is desperate to establish himself on Tyneside – Sunday’s game was just his second start for his new club – and his employers, who invested heavily in his services during their latest spending spree as they prepared for a season which includes Champions League football for the first time in two decades.

Howe said: “He was down after the game because he knew it wasn’t a normal injury where you feel a muscle and think that might be one or two weeks.

“This was a slightly more complex issue, and I think he probably feared the worst because there was no one around him and it was one of those mechanisms where he knew it wasn’t quite right.

“There’s no doubt he’ll be disappointed because he was very keen to show his value and worth and Sunday was an opportunity to do that. But whatever the injury is, we’ll support him and we know he’s a top quality player and he still has a massive part to play.”

Scotland manager Steve Clarke will take stock of his attempts to bring aboard Newcastle pair Elliot Anderson and Harvey Barnes after Tuesday’s Hampden friendly against England.

Whitley Bay-born Anderson, who has a Scottish grandmother, spent two days with Scotland last week before withdrawing from the squad before their trip to Cyprus due to injury.

England manager Gareth Southgate has since expressed admiration for the Newcastle midfielder and stated his backroom team would be taking the situation up.

The 20-year-old has been capped at several levels for Scotland but has also attended an England Under-19 training camp.

Clarke said: “We like the player as well so Elliot will still have that choice to make.

“When I come out of this camp I will look at what we have done, what we have had, what’s occurred over this camp, we will do a debrief on it and then we will shape what we do from there.”

Former Leicester winger Barnes is reported to be considering a switch of allegiance after playing once for England in a friendly win over Wales three years ago.

The 25-year-old was born in Burnley and brought up in Leicestershire but has Scottish grandparents.

When asked about Barnes, Clarke said: “Probably the same comment, to think about that after.

“We want the best players we can possibly get. If they are eligible for Scotland and they have a chance to play for us and they can improve the squad that I’ve got – which is not an easy thing to do…

“And I get all the story round it, because we are playing England you want to speak about Elliot, you want to speak about Harvey.

“I quite like speaking about the boys I have got because they have put us in a really good position and they deserve a lot of credit for that.”

What the papers say

Leicester midfielder Harvey Barnes is looking increasingly likely to sign for Newcastle. Leicester have valued Barnes at around the £35-40million mark, according to the Daily Mail. The Premier League club could reportedly seal the deal with the 25-year-old in the coming days which may hasten Allan Saint-Maximin’s exit from St James’ Park as Saudi Pro League teams circle.

The Guardian says veteran Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has agreed to terms to join Ligue 1 club Marseille on a three-year deal. Chelsea and the French side now need to agree on a deal for the 34-year-old’s signature. Aubameyang only started in five Premier League games for the Blues last season.

Manchester City reportedly rejected a bid of over £20m from Saudi Pro League team Al-Ahli for Riyad Mahrez but the Saudi Arabian club are confident they will get their man. The Guardian reported the Premier League champions have asked for £30m for his services.

Luton are on the verge of signing 29-year-old midfielder Marvelous Nakamba from Aston Villa, the Telegraph writes. Meanwhile, the Liverpool Echo reports Liverpool could explore signing Portugal international Joao Palhinha from Fulham.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Harry Maguire: Chelsea are reportedly showing interest in signing the Manchester United defender after Wesley Fofana underwent knee surgery, 90 Min reports.

Connor Gallagher: Sky Sports says West Ham are keen on signing the exciting midfielder but Chelsea have put a hefty cost on the 23-year-old, asking for more than £40million.

What the papers say

Leicester’s James Maddison and Harvey Barnes, who have both been valued at around £40million, could stay in the Premier League while Leicester move down to the Championship.

Tottenham and Newcastle are both reportedly interested in the pair with a bidding battle to ensue over their signatures, The Sun says.

Tottenham’s have another competitor in the fight to sign former Barcelona and Spain manager Luis Enrique as Serie A Champions Napoli are interested in the 53-year-old, according to the Guardian.

The Daily Mail said Juventus were looking the most likely to sign Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic for a reported estimated transfer fee of around £20m.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Manu Kone: Liverpool are interested in the 22-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder – who is valued at around £34m – German media outlet BILD said.

Wilfried Gnonto: Italian media outlet Calciomercato said the 19-year-old Italy forward is being looked at by Premier League rivals Manchester City and Arsenal after Leeds’ relegation was confirmed.

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