Eddie Howe pre-Newcastle press conference – Problems up front
Eddie Howe has met the media on Friday morning ahead of the trip to Newcastle.
Rafa Benitez came up against the third longest-serving Premier League manager on Monday and now he faces the second longest-serving, both Sean Dyche and Eddie Howe having now been in post for over five years each.
Rumours continue that Dyche could be prised away by Everton but Howe is facing one of his toughest challenges in the job so far.
Second bottom after 10 matches and only Palace have scored less than Bournemouth’s six goals this season.
At this morning’s press conference, Eddie Howe talked of Newcastle as a ‘very well organised team’ and stated ‘Benitez organises his side as one that’s hard to beat’.
To get out of trouble, the Cherries have to start scoring goals, but this Newcastle trip could have come at the wrong time for the Bournemouth boss.
He confirmed that striker Afobe will be missing and King faces a late fitness test.
Whilst Callum Wilson had 16 minutes of Premier League football as a sub against Chelsea last week, his first top tier football in 10 months after picking up yet another injury in January.
Jerman Defoe turned 35 last month and Eddie Howe may be left with relying on the free transfer from Sunderland as his big hope.
Defoe has started only one Premier League match since September but is looking a very likely starter.
The former Mackem striker wasn’t a happy man yesterday, overlooked for the latest England squad which has gone for an emphasis on youth.
Howe though still claims Defoe ‘has every opportunity to go to next year’s World Cup finals when he will be heading towards the age of 36.
The one-time Spurs striker will need a lot more than the one goal he has scored so far if he is to convince Gareth Southgate, whilst stopping him scoring will surely go a long way towards a clean sheet and three points for Newcastle on Saturday.
Eddie Howe pre-Newcastle press conference:
“Both Benik Afobe and Junior Stanislas will miss this weekend.
“We haven’t had official confirmation on Junior’s injury, so we’ll get a second opinion. At this stage it is unknown but we believe it’s not as serious as we first thought.
“Benik should be back after international break and we have no other new concerns.
“Joshua King is a player we’ll have to make a late decision on.
“I think Callum Wilson is getting there. He’s going to need a lot of football to get back to his best but he looks sharp.
“Jermain Defoe is fine. He has a really important part in our season and he’s already scored and created chances.
“Jermain’s got every opportunity to go to the World Cup and it is up to us and him to help give himself the best chance.
“We’ve only scored six goals at the moment and that’s not enough. That’s about the team, not one individual.
“I think Asmir Begovic has had an excellent start to the season. He’s been very consistent and is a strong character.
“You reflect on the games and points you could have had. Manchester City, Everton, Spurs, we’ve been very competitive.
“I think Newcastle are a very well organised team.
“Benitez organises his side as one that’s hard to beat.
“Newcastle are a very difficult proposition, a very well organised team and that’s what Rafael Benitez does – but they also have offensive players who can hurt you.
“They’re on the way up, and they’ve built of the momentum they gained from winning promotion last season, so we know it’s going to be a very tough game.”
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