Eddie Howe hopeful Newcastle can cope with back-to-back games against top two

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe is hopeful his players can cope with the “unique challenge” of back-to-back matches against the Premier League’s top two Liverpool and Manchester City.

Howe’s side had just 26 per cent possession in Thursday’s 3-1 defeat at Anfield and they can probably expect even less against the defending champions even though they face them at St James’ Park.

The physical exertion contributed to a hamstring injury to left-back Jamal Lewis and Allan Saint-Maximin sustaining a muscle problem and, while the Magpies boss will freshen up the team, he is asking for more of the same effort.

“I think the challenge we face with these two games, the reality is we are going to be without the ball for a long time and the physical effort of the players is really tested,” he said.

“We lost Jamal early in the match against Liverpool and a lot of the other players we had on the pitch were suffering with fatigue.

“It is a unique challenge for us with these two games back-to-back but the fact we are at home with the crowd behind us will hopefully inspire.

“We are going to obviously need to rotate the team and make sure the team that takes the pitch is as fresh as it can be.”

Top scorer Callum Wilson is set to return having been rested at Liverpool.

In his absence Saint-Maximin played the central role and it is something Howe has not ruled out doing again.

“I thought he was very good, he is obviously very different to Callum,” he added.

“He is the type of player who, when you play him in that position, you need to feed it into his feet.

“The challenge for us was to get him the ball more but I thought he played well.”

Howe also called for the same mindset with which they approached the game against Jurgen Klopp’s high-fliers.

“I thought there were elements of the Liverpool performance which were very good,” he said.

“Now we are going to need the same mentality first and foremost in preparation for the game.

“The players will have to commit to what we ask them to do.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting