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Eddie Howe update after only 15 Newcastle United players shown training on Wednesday

3 months ago
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Eddie Howe has warned his players that they are still in a relegation battle.

A run of six wins and a draw in seven games had taken Newcastle United to 31 points after 27 matches played.

However, cruel late defeats to both Chelsea and Everton have added a certain level of doubt again.

Newcastle fans no doubt seeing a couple of more wins from the remaining nine matches probably enough to make sure of safety.

However, with the last four fixtures being Liverpool home, Man City away, Arsenal home and Burnley away, reaching safety in these next five games (see full schedule below) would be very welcome.

On Wednesday, the club released an official set of images showing training that day, with Dan Burn, Paul Dummett, Ryan Fraser, Federico Fernandez, Dwight Gayle, Joelinton, Jamaal Lascelles, Sean Longstaff, Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy, Matt Ritchie, Allan Saint-Maximin, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Targett and Joe Willock the only first team squad members featured in the photos.

They are 15 members of the 25 man official NUFC Premier League squad, so what about the other 10?

Eddie Howe giving some updates on some of those missing.

Eddie Howe on the run in:

“We are still in a relegation battle.

“We need points and we’ve got a tough run of fixtures, so I think we have to maximise every game.

“We had a difficult spell of away games so we were pleased with the time away to reset and focus on the final nine games.”

Eddie Howe on Chris Wood:

“It’s worth recognising the fact he’s become New Zealand’s record goalscorer.

“It’s a great achievement and I’m so pleased for him. He’s a down to earth, humble guy.

“He’s a brilliant professional and a team player so he deserves that recognition.”

Eddie Howe on Allan Saint-Maximin:

“Whenever a player has some time away with illness and injury it’s very difficult to get them back up to speed straight away so this break has been very good for him.

“He’s trained very well and we’re excited to see him back.”

Eddie Howe on Martin Dubravka and Fabian Schar:

“Fabian Schar came back having not trained or played but we’ve had a couple of sessions with him so we think he’ll be fit.

“Martin Dubravka trained with us yesterday for the first time so we hope he’ll be fine.”

Eddie Howe on Jonjo Shelvey:

“Jonjo has trained. He hasn’t done every session because he had a bad illness but we hope he’ll be OK for Sunday.”

Eddie Howe on Kieran Trippier:

“Kieran has a scan on his foot today to see how that’s healed. Hopefully the scan goes well and then we can push him quite quickly to get him back – so we’re hoping for good news.”

No goalkeepers at all were seen in the Wednesday training images but good to hear that Martin Dubravka is now back training, whilst with Gillespie and Darlow we can only assume they are ok as back up.

Wilson and Trippier were never going to be available for this Tottenham game but here’s hoping that Trippier can step it up with positive scan results hopefully forthcoming.

Great to hear that Fabian Schar is also back training now after pulling out of the Switzerland squad last week.

Whilst the other four missing from the Wednesday training photos have all been away been away with their respective international squads.

Emil Krafth played on Tuesday in Poland and had a relatively short journey back to Tyneside, whilst Chris Wood played Wednesday in Qatar, so a slightly longer flight back to the UK but I can’t see any issues stopping him starting on Sunday.

As ever though with those returning from South America, Bruno Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron saw their national sides play games on Wednesday morning (UK time) and even though Almiron was suspended for Paraguay’s match it appears he stayed with his international squad for that match in Peru. Bruno played for Brazil in Bolivia, so it will be interesting, especially with the former Lyon midfielder, to see whether Eddie Howe deems him / them ok to start on Sunday.

The fact that Jonjo Shelvey is ok now, plus Willock and Joelinton also training, may well see Eddie Howe start with Bruno on the bench.

Allan Saint-Maximin was included in those Wednesday training images but great to hear Eddie Howe so positive about ASM and his physical condition ahead of this Tottenham match.

Eddie Howe on being allowed five subs from next season:

“When you’re managing a big squad, if you’re allowed more options that’s a very good thing.

“I really love the squad I have so the ability to bring more players onto the pitch and change things tactically – I’m all for it.”

Newcastle United upcoming remaining matches:

Sunday 3 April 4.30pm – Tottenham away (Sky Sports)

Friday 8 April 8pm – Wolves home (Sky Sports)

Sunday 17 April 2.15pm – Leicester home (Sky Sports)

Wednesday 20 April 7.45pm – Crystal Palace home

Saturday 23 April 3pm – Norwich away

Saturday 30 April 12.30pm – Liverpool home (BT Sport)

Saturday 7 May 3pm – Man City away (No announcement yet on whether will be moved for TV)

Sunday 15 May 3pm – Arsenal home (No announcement yet on whether will be moved for TV)

Sunday 22 May 4pm – Burnley away (No announcement yet on whether will be moved for TV but on final day all games to kick-off at 4pm)

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