Eddie Howe has taken his press briefing this morning ahead of Sunday’s clash against Wolves. The head coach revealed that he hopes Fabian Schar will be back for the match after being in concussion protocol.
He also hinted there could be others fighting for fitness as he stated the following:
“We hope Fabian Schär will be in the squad. He’s trained well this week so I’m pleased to see him back.
“We have a couple of knocks from the Man City game but we hope it’s nothing too serious.”
There have been minimal injuries in recent weeks. So Howe has had some selection decisions to make. That will be no different for Sunday as Joelinton will serve the first of his two-match ban.
Jamaal Lascelles had a promising outing at the Etihad in Schar’s place. Howe was asked about the captain and his performance. Howe provided the following assessment on Jamaal:
“He’s led by example on the training ground. I had no doubt he’d come in and do well [at Man City] because of what I’ve seen.
“He performed to a high level & I’m pleased for him because he deserved that moment. I think he’s in a really good place.”
Lascelles recently spoke out on his lack of opportunities. His statements were team-oriented as he has completely encompassed his leadership role in the squad. If there are any doubts about Fabian, Howe will have no hesitation in handing Lascelles another start.
Interestingly, Howe spoke about another long-term Magpie who is pushing for a start. That is super-sub Jacob Murphy. The 28-year-old plays almost every match though rarely from the opening whistle.
Howe must be pleased with the winger’s contributions as well as in training as he said the following:
“I think he’s done very well off the bench this year but that’s not to say that’s his sole role. He’s done well when he’s come on in the last few games and that’s not lost on me.
“He’s pushing to start and there’s no doubting his qualities.”
Howe could go with another slightly-rotated squad on Sunday. Competition for places could be the key to getting the Magpies heading back in the right direction down the stretch.