Eddie Howe has paid tribute to outgoing Newcastle United forward Chris Wood following his move to Nottingham Forest and adds that they will seek a replacement ahead of their Premier League trip to Crystal Palace.

The former Burnley attacker is moving to the City Ground after missing out on minutes this season amid wider club success at St James’ Park.

Howe was quick to offer glowing praise in his pre-match press conference, stating: “He’s been a huge player for us. I have to say he’s been outstanding in every way.

“When we signed him we were in a very difficult league position. He played a huge part on the pitch to help transform the team. This season he has been excellent both on and off the pitch in terms of his leadership and positivity when he’s not played.

“I can’t underestimate the role he’s played. It was a difficult decision because you have to take into account the player and his wishes but also it’s a very good deal financially for the football club.”

On a replacement, Howe added: “We’re hopefully planning to replace him. From my side there was no plan of letting a player go and not replacing him. That would leave us dangerously short of players. But there are no guarantees.”

Opposite number Patrick Vieira meanwhile feels his side have been hard done by in their post-World Cup results, and hopes they can deliver a concrete shift in form imminently.

“I look at the games again and I look at our performances in and out of possession, the way we played and the situations we have created,” he added. “I look at the way we have developed ourselves and some of the games we have been unlucky.

“It’s important for us to work on those kind of details about how can we be more consistent in our performances, defending better as a team and attacking better as a team. Finally scoring those goals because we manage to create those opportunities.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha

The Eagles winger has scored two goals and provided no assists in his 15 Premier League games against Newcastle – no side that he’s faced at least 10 times in the competition does the Ivorian have fewer goal involvements against than the Magpies.

Newcastle – Kieran Trippier

The England defender has created more chances from set plays than any other player in the Premier League this season (34). Overall, his record of 2.7 chances created per 90 minutes is the highest of any Newcastle player on record in a single Premier League campaign (since 2003-04, minimum 1000 minutes).

KEY OPTA FACTS

– Crystal Palace have only won two of their 11 Premier League home games against Newcastle United (D4 L5), a 5-1 win in November 2015 and 1-0 in February 2020.

– Since losing 5-1 to Crystal Palace in November 2015, Newcastle have only conceded six goals in 12 Premier League games against the Eagles (W5 D4 L3). However, they’ve won none of their last nine top-flight games against them when conceding (D4 L5); their last eight Premier League wins against Palace have all been to nil.

– Crystal Palace and Newcastle have already played out two 0-0 draws this season, one in the Premier League and one in the League Cup. The last time two top-flight teams had three goalless draws against each other in the same campaign was Everton against Wimbledon in 1992-93.

– Newcastle have earned seven points from their three Premier League away games in London this season (W2 D1), more than they did in six visits last term (W1 D2 L3). They last had a longer unbeaten run in the capital in the top-flight between May 2013 and January 2014 (5 – W4 D1).

– Crystal Palace have lost their last eight home league games in the Saturday 5.30pm kick-off slot, scoring six goals and conceding 19 in this run. Their last such victory was against Tottenham in January 2015 under Alan Pardew.