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Eddie Howe on Newcastle United players Watford availability after 9 missing from training images

2 weeks ago
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Later on Thursday afternoon, Newcastle United published a photo gallery showing the Newcastle United players training ahead of Watford.

This featured the following 20 Newcastle players from what you could see in the club’s photo gallery:

Miguel Almiron, Elliot Anderson, Paul Dummett, Ryan Fraser, Mark Gillespie, Jeff Hendrick, Joelinton, Emil Krafth, Jamaal Lascelles, Jamal Lewis, Matty Longstaff,  Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy,  Matt Ritchie, Allan Saint-Maximin, Fabian Schar, Jonjo Shelvey, Kieran Trippier, Joe Willock, Chris Wood.

In total, we made it 29 Newcastle United players who could have been included in the training images, with these nine the ones we couldn’t see:

Karl Darlow, Ciaran Clark, Martin Dubravka, Federico Fernandez, Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Callum Wilson, Freddie Woodman

One of the big stand outs, was Mark Gillespie as the only goalkeeper that could be seen in the entire training image gallery. Woodman and Darlow were missing from the squad against Cambridge, presumably due to injury and / or Covid issues so maybe not a great surprise that this pair were missing.

As for Martin Dubravka? Eddie Howe on Friday morning explaining the number one keeper has been having treatment for a toe injury picked up when Cambridge scored their winner and then seen limping at times throughout the remainder of that game. Howe though thinks he will be alright for Watford.

Whilst it was good to see Dummett and Lewis involved in first team training, Eddie Howe seemingly ruling both of these out of Saturday’s match due to still not at necessary fitness levels.

The Head Coach saying there are still a couple of Newcastle United players ruled out due to Covid and naturally hoping no new cases after testing today.

So looking at the squad overall, it appears that for this Watford game, the likes of Wilson, Fernandez, Hayden, Manquillo (suspended), Lewis and Dummett will all definitely miss.

Then you have the others who were missing from the training photos – Karl Darlow, Ciaran Clark, Martin Dubravka, Dwight Gayle, Sean Longstaff, Freddie Woodman.

Dubravka appears set to be available but major question marks on the other five. Sean Longstaff played against Cambridge, whilst Dwight Gayle came on as a sub against Man Utd but was missing from the squad against Cambridge. Maybe a good chance that one or both of these could be available tomorrow.

Darlow though hasn’t made a matchday squad since November and for Clark, he hasn’t done so for four weeks (since 19 December). Freddie Woodman hadn’t made a Premier League matchday squad since September but was on the bench against Man Utd, though not in the matchday squad against Cambridge.

Eddie Howe pre-Watford press conference:

“We’ve still got a couple of Covid cases and we have testing today, so fingers crossed nobody succumbs there.

“We have Jamal Lewis and Paul Dummett edging closer to a return.

“We have a few knocks and niggles but nothing too serious.

“Martin Dubravka did take a blow to the toe in the goal incident [against Cambridge] but touch wood, he is going to be OK.”

Eddie Howe on Kieran Trippier:

“On the training ground he’s been excellent.

“From the first day when he spoke to the group he was hugely impressive.

“He’s shown a level of maturity and composure we’re going to need going forward. I know he’s going to be a great signing for us.”

On Chris Wood:

“We’re really pleased with the signing of Chris. I think he’ll fit in really well to the team. He’s experienced, he’s ready to play and he knows the Premier League. He gives us something a little bit different.”

“I’ve never been shy of saying I admire tall, physical strikers who can give you a platform to play and I’ve signed many down the years.

“When you look at last week when we put 30 crosses into the box, we were crying out for someone with his strengths and his qualities.”

Eddie Howe talking to BBC Newcastle ahead of the Watford match:

“He [Jamal Lewis] has done one day’s training with the team and that was a light day.

“So, he’s still got some way to go,

“I would say…he’s still some way off match fitness.”

On Chris Wood / signings:

“Chris Wood will be the only signing [this week] before the weekend.

“There is some time left in the window to add a couple more players, as we’re trying to do.

“Had some really tough battles against him [Chris Wood] down the years and he’s always impressed me.

“Good physical presence, leads the line well, is a focal point. Attacks crosses very well and runs in behind better than people realise.”

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