Eddie Howe has given his press conference ahead of tomorrow night’s match at Southampton. The boss has confirmed that there are no fresh injury concerns after the win against Brighton.
While there were a few niggles picked up, it appears that everyone available over the weekend will be in contention tomorrow. Newcastle also released images from yesterday’s training session which showed Matt Ritchie back with the group.
Here is Howe’s injury update per Newcastle’s Twitter account:
“We’ve got no injuries of major concern. We had a few niggles after the Brighton game but we’ve had Matt Ritchie return to training so that’s a really good thing.”
Howe has kept with much the same team over our recent stretch of five wins in six matches. The schedule did allow for a full week of preparation for much of those matches. That changes now with three matches in a seven-day stretch.
This could be the time Howe rotates his squad with players like Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, and Jamaal Lascelles among others desperate for an opportunity. Howe touched on that subject saying:
“We’ll look to make the right decisions for the team.
“I think with the run we’ve been on I’ve been reluctant to change things because the team had lacked rhythm for a long time so when you get it you want to try and enhance not disrupt it.
“It doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the players I’m not using, that’s the key thing. I believe in them and I believe they can all play a huge role in the future, but I’ve just got to deal with the here and now.”
The overall performance dipped against The Seagulls but Newcastle were able to gut out a key 2-1 victory. Howe may again keep the changes to a minimum tomorrow and then shake up the squad for the trip to Chelsea on Sunday.
One change fans could be expecting is Allan Saint-Maximin back in the starting eleven. The Frenchman was a substitute against Brighton after missing the previous two matches with a calf injury.
Howe was hesitant when asked about Saint-Maximin as he feels he is still not fully fit. The 24-year-old will certainly play a part at St Mary’s but it may be another cameo as Howe said the following:
“He’s not 100% fit. He did one day of training in three weeks before the previous game but we are keen to have him back at his best.
“I think when he came on he did well and I thought he gave us a lift. We’re trying to build up his fitness.”