GARY O'Neil described Neto as a "leader", but played down suggestion of the goalkeeper being a key difference-maker against Newcastle.

The Brazilian earned lots of plaudits after the 1-1 draw at St James' Park, particularly for an eye-catching double save just before half-time to deny Joelinton and Ryan Fraser.

He was only beaten by a second-half Alexander Isak penalty.

Former Barcelona man Neto also looked assured at dealing with aerial crosses during the latter stages to help the visitors hold on for a point, but O'Neil was visibly becoming frustrated at times on the sideline by the goalkeeper's distribution in the second half.

Asked how big a role the 33-year-old played in earning the draw against Eddie Howe's Magpies, interim boss O'Neil told the Daily Echo: "A lot of people have asked me about Neto.

"It’s a bit of a whirlwind when you’re on the side, but I don’t remember any massive saves where I think ‘we’ve got away with one there’.

"I felt fairly comfortable. Of course there are moments and at the end of the first half there was a sequence of set plays.

"I remember them having a long distance one that he had to tip over or around the post."

O'Neil added: "Nets was really good for us. He’s a leader. He helps with the organisation of the back-line.

"But I didn’t feel like he was ever flat-out keeping us in it, to be honest."