Eddie Howe admits ‘thin on the ground’ Newcastle will struggle to field a team against Everton with Covid-hit squad losing Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson to injury in Man United draw
- Newcastle held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw in a physical matchup
- Callum Wilson and goalscorer Allan Saint Maximin came off with injury
- The Magpies couldn’t pick a full subs bench on Monday amid the Covid outbreak
- Newcastle play Everton Thursday and Howe thinks he could be short on players
Eddie Howe says Newcastle are ‘dangerously close’ to having less than 14 players available for Thursday’s trip to Everton after a Covid outbreak and a bruising night during their 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
The Magpies named one less substitute than permitted and included two goalkeepers on the bench last night. They then lost scorer Allan Saint-Maximin and striker Callum Wilson to injury.
Howe said: ‘I believe it’s 13 plus a goalkeeper to have enough players for a game. We’re going to be dangerously close to that number, if there’s Covid in the camp.
Eddie Howe is concerned he may not have enough players to face Everton on Thursday
The Magpies saw Allan Saint Maximin limp off injured to add to a growing injury and Covid list
‘We are stretched and it is a difficult moment for us. The lads gave everything but we are thin on the ground in terms of bodies.’
Howe said that Saint-Maximin’s injury was serious enough for him to come off but was less of a concern than Wilson’s problem. He was withdrawn in the first half after feeling the back of his lower leg.
‘Callum’s injury doesn’t look good,’ he said. ‘Just the way he went down with no-one around him, I feared the worst. He felt he’d been kicked and that is why he thought he could run it off. That wasn’t to be.
“It’ll have a huge impact, two key players. Callum looks more serious because nobody was round him.
Howe admitted Wilson’s injury is more serious, after the striker was forced off at half-time
United stole an underserved point from the battling hosts, who left battered and bruised
‘Maxi hopefully won’t be any more than a few weeks. But it’s difficult to tell. We desperately need them fit.”
Newcastle produced their best performance of the season and were only denied victory when Edinson Cavani poked in from close range on 71 minutes.
They would have reclaimed their lead late on had David de Gea not tipped Miguel Almiron’s goal-bound curler over the crossbar.
Howe added: ‘We are very disappointed, we deserved to win. The lads executed the game-plan brilliantly. How De Gea saved from Almiron at the end, I don’t know. I thought it was in.
‘Hopefully we’ve seen the beginning of a new team and how we want to play. We want more control in games. We really hurt Man Utd on transitions. But for a bit more luck we could have won the game.’