Eddie Howe on Newcastle United priorities and the January transfer window
Eddie Howe will be in the home dugout at St James Park for the first time ever on Tuesday night.
Having watched the Brentford match from his hotel room due to a positive covid test leading to a period of self-isolating, tomorrow is massive for so many reasons.
Eddie Howe says he ‘can’t wait’ to experience St James Park as boss of Newcastle United.
However, it is arguably the most ‘must win’ of ‘must win’ matches that we have seen in a long time.
Whilst Eddie Howe says he is confident that the Newcastle United owners will do everything they can to help him get the right signings in January, the NUFC Head Coach says it is a case of priorities.
The first and most important priority this Norwich match, not who NUFC may or may not bring in when we reach January.
Reality as well is that with thirteen PL matches already played, another eight are coming up very quickly in a less than five week period starting on Tuesday night and ending on Sunday 2 January with a trip to Southampton. Only after that game on the south coast could we realistically see any January signings getting on the pitch, with a maximum of 17 PL games for them to have an impact.
Eddie Howe speaking ahead of taking on Norwich – Monday 29 November 2021:
“I’m looking forward to that experience [of being in Newcastle dugout at St James Park for first time].
“Whenever you go to a ground, the away experience is very different to the home one.
“I loved coming to St. James Park as an opposition manager and thought it was a fantastic arena to watch football in, sampling the atmosphere.
“To have the home supporters with us will be an amazing, unique experience and a one I can’t wait to sample.
“We have the two suspensions. They [Lascelles and Ritchie] are going to be big misses for us with the experience they have but I don’t think there is any fresh injuries from Saturday.
“There’s going to be opportunities.
“When you have suspensions or injuries, it’s a disappointment for those players involved but an opportunity for someone else which is good for us to see the squad because there’s some I’ve seen little of in my time here due to various reasons.
“I’m confident whoever comes in will give a very good account of themselves for the team.
“It’s been a very busy time, with three games in a week coming up, so a really busy few days for us. We’re looking forward to the challenges that we face this week.
“We’re aware how important these games are but I think it’s a dangerous thing to look too far ahead.
Firstly, I’m looking at training today and then of course tomorrow’s game. It’s always a step-by-step process.
“The minute you start looking too far ahead, you can take your eye off the priorities.
“The priorities right now are the players and preparing them as best we can for the next game.
“We know it’s going to be a really tough game. We cannot underestimate Norwich in any way. Any Premier League game is incredibly tough to win so we know we’ll have to be at our very best.
“Going back to our last home game, the amount of chances we created with over 20 shots, I thought we looked a good attacking threat. There were moments the other way that weren’t so stable but I saw enough from it as an attacking side to know we can create and score goals and I saw the same at Arsenal.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say we created clear cut chances but we created enough in the game away from home against a really tough opponent to know that we will be in games from an attacking perspective.
“We have to improve the defensive side of the game and that’s everyone connected with the team. I thought there were positive signs albeit in defeat.
“We know we can’t keep saying that and have to turn these small margins that are costing us games the other way but I’m sure we can do it.”
Asked about if he’d had assurances about backing in the January transfer window, Eddie Howe:
“I can’t make any promises on that, but I can promise that the people above me, the [Newcastle United] owners, will support the team and support me in trying to achieve what we need.
“That is all I can say at this time.
“It would be foolish of me to make rash promises or statements.
“My priority at the moment is to get the best out of the players we have.”
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