- Eddie Howe reveals it was his idea for Sandro Tonali to have a lap of honour
- The Italian could have played last game for club ahead of a possible suspension
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Eddie Howe revealed it was his idea to send Sandro Tonali in front of his team-mates on the post-match lap of honour, as the Newcastle midfielder awaits news of a lengthy ban for illegal gambling.
The 23-year-old faces at least a one-year suspension from Italian authorities and that could arrive as soon as this week, meaning the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace could be his last game at St James’ Park until next season.
Tonali was introduced to a rapturous welcome in the 69th minute and again felt the love of the home crowd after full-time.
Howe said: ’It sort of came to me when we were doing our walk that I wanted him to be at the front, to see the love closer up. So it’s a big thank you from me to our supporters. That reception at the end was incredible and it was emotional.
Eddie Howe says it was his idea for Sandro Tonali to be the subject of a lap of honour
Newcastle’s Tonali could face at least a one-year suspension from Italian authorities this week
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‘Sandro is going through an incredibly emotional time and the supporters reacted how I hoped they would. I could feel the love between him and them and that will do him the world of good, he’ll feel much better.
‘The hardest part is ahead, but it’s great for him to know he’s got the support of the senior management and the supporters, they’re the most important.’
Howe added: ‘He very much wanted to play and perform, for sure. There was no decision to make for me, I could see that from how he’s trained, so there wasn’t a part of me that went, “He’s not ready to play football”. it was just about introducing him at the right time, and I thought he did well after he came on.
‘Hopefully this is a step forward to him for moving forward in his life. He’s very level. Very rarely do you outwardly see the emotion, but you know it’s in there. He’s a private guy and keeps things in check really well. I’m sure he’s massively boosted by today
Tonali could have played his last game for Newcastle until next season ahead of possible ban