Eddie Howe has urged teenager Lewis Miley to follow in the footsteps of fellow Academy graduate Sean Longstaff as he attempts to establish himself as a regular at Newcastle.
The 17-year-old took another significant step in his fledgling career on Saturday when he became the club’s youngest Premier League goalscorer to inspire his boyhood team to a 3-0 victory over Fulham at St James’ Park.
Miley’s rise since he made his senior debut at Chelsea in May has been hugely impressive, but he still has much to learn and head coach Howe has told him to take his lead from established first-teamer Longstaff, who has already travelled a similar path.
Howe said: “The comparison between Sean and Lewie is a very good one. Sean is doing really, really well now after a slightly difficult time for him.
“Sean has become such a pivotal player for us, and what I love about him is that he’s Newcastle through and through. He lives and breathes everything to do with Newcastle.
“He’s still involved in the Academy, he still goes back to watch games and he’s never forgotten where he’s come from and how he’s got to where he’s got to. He’s very thankful for everyone’s support in his journey.
“I think they’re great characteristics for Lewie to retain as well, and I’m sure Lewie will do that with the family he has behind him.”
Miley had initially been rested for Saturday’s game, with Longstaff replacing him after recovering from injury.
However, the youngster found himself pressed into action before the break when Joelinton followed defender Fabian Schar back down the tunnel with the pair both having suffered muscle injuries which could keep them out of Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final trip to Chelsea.
By that point, the visitors had already been reduced to 10-men following Raul Jimenez’s reckless challenge on Longstaff, but had regrouped to frustrate the hosts until Miley’s big moment arrived.
If Bruno Guimaraes was the architect with an insistent 57th-minute run which took him past a series of defenders on the edge of the box, it was the 17-year-old who applied the finish with a low right-foot strike across keeper Bernd Leno and inside the far post.
Miley told NUFC TV: “It was a really special one for me and my family especially. To see the ball go into the back of the net was a really good moment for me, and hopefully there’s lots more.
“It was definitely everything I’d dreamt of. I’ve been here since I was a a boy watching all the games and once I scored that, I was buzzing.”
Miguel Almiron added a second seven minutes later and Dan Burn completed the scoring to clinch a seventh successive home league win as Fulham finally wilted, although boss Marco Silva was at a loss to understand why Raul had been sent off by referee Sam Barrott and Jamaal Lascelles had not for a challenge on the striker minutes earlier.
Silva said: “I can accept the red card if they decide it is right, but two minutes before, the same referee and the same VAR person gave nothing. For me, it is clear that Lascelles elbowed Raul.”