NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe admits Newcastle United are in a ‘difficult moment’ after three key players were seemingly ruled out of next week’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.
The Magpies recorded yet another win, this time over newly promoted Burnley at St James’ Park thanks to goals from Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak. However, the shine was taken off the victory somewhat, as Joelinton’s return from a knee injury lasted just two minutes.
Howe confirmed after the game that the Brazilian has suffered a hamstring injury and will almost certainly be out until after the international break. That news comes fresh off the back of injuries suffered by Sven Botman and Callum Wilson, both of whom missed the Clarets victory.
“It’s a difficult moment for us injury wise. It’s that kind of season for us, with the physical demands we’re going to face,” said the head coach, whose side take on PSG under the St James’ lights on Wednesday.
“You don’t want any injury, and any injury really hurts us, but it is what it is and we have to deal with it. We have to be resilient and deal with the challenges that will come. We just hope we can get those players back really quickly.”
While Wilson has an outside chance of playing against the Qatar-owned French giants, the prognosis on Botman is less positive.
“We’ve always believed we’ve got some really good players here. The problem for us, with the amount of games we have, is if we get injuries in one area,” Howe added.
“Unfortunately, at the moment, it’s all attackers, plus Sven, that are injured, which is a blow. It’s obviously going to stretch us, but hopefully with the international break coming, it will be a good time, fingers crossed, to get the majority of them back if we can, and then our squad will look really strong.
“The players that have come in, it’s great experiences for them. I think they have done well, and that will lift us long term. It’s a great thing for us to see.
“Callum’s got a very minor hamstring problem. We hope he will be back soon. We hope we will see him before the international break, but there’s no guarantee. Sven has a hamstring problem, and I don’t think we’ll see him before the international break. Hopefully, we’ll see him very quickly afterwards.”
On Joelinton, Howe refused to 100% close the door on his midfielder making a miraculous recovery, although given the nature of what the club fear with the injury, it seems unlikely.
He said: “It looks like a hamstring. That would be a huge blow if he lose him (Joelinton), but we’ll wait and see.”
While the story of the day may well be the Magpies’ mounting injury concerns, the overriding picture at Newcastle is a positive one.
Emerging from their sticky spell, which included defeats to Man City, Liverpool and Brighton, Howe’s men have now gone on a five-game unbeaten run, not conceding a goal in that time.
“There’s no such thing as a regulation win. It was a tough game,” said Howe.
“We anticipated a tough game, I think Burnley are a really interesting team. I think Vincent has done a great job. We knew we had to be really good because they play a very open style, but it’s a dangerous style if you’re not perfect on your press or with whatever your game plan is.
“You have to deliver your game plan well, and I thought we did, probably after the first ten minutes when we were a little bit slow out of the blocks. I thought we recovered really well, and I thought we deserved to win.”