Anthony Gordon will be handed a crash course in life on Tyneside when he witnesses Newcastle’s bid to reach a first League Cup final for 47 years from the stands.
The 21-year-old, who completed a move which it is understood could eventually amount to £45million when he joined forces with the Magpies from boyhood club Everton on Sunday, will be at St James’ Park on Tuesday evening as Eddie Howe’s men attempt to push home the 1-0 Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg advantage they hold over Southampton.
Howe said: “It will be a really useful experience for him tomorrow to sample the atmosphere. It’s totally different when you’re watching from the stands than it is to playing and feeling it on the pitch, but it will give him an idea of what’s in store for him.
“It is going to be potentially a season-defining game, although we are not trying to focus on it that way.”
Gordon has played at St James’ already this season and found himself a target for the locals after going nose-to-nose with England full-back Kieran Trippier after a difference of opinion on the pitch during Everton’s 1-0 Premier League defeat in October.
However, the Magpies’ head coach is confident that kind of passion will be better received once he pulls on a black and white shirt.
Howe said: “I like the fact that he didn’t stand down that day. He was aggressive in standing his position. The supporters will love that about him. Our own players will love that about him.”
The cup-tied frontman will be a more than interested spectator on a night which will assume significant proportions in Newcastle’s recent history if they can avoid only a third defeat in 27 games this season, although Howe will allow his side to take nothing for granted.
He said: “You have to look at it as an independent game. Yes we have a 1-0 lead, but if you focus on that too much before the game or that becomes part of your psychology, then you’re in trouble.
“You go into protection mode and we don’t want that, we want to express ourselves in the game and we have to look at it as a league game.
“We’re a game away from a final, which would be an amazing moment for us, but we haven’t achieved it yet and we’ve got a lot of work to do to get there, so it’s about staying in the moment, not getting ahead of ourselves.”
Howe, who hopes to strike a deal for West Ham full-back Harrison Ashby, insisted he has no intention of allowing Allan Saint-Maximin to leave the club in the wake of Gordon’s arrival.
He did confirm midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is in talks with Nottingham Forest and that keeper Karl Darlow could be allowed to join Hull on loan after the cup tie.