EPL

Eddie Howe worried over growing injury list as Newcastle prepare for PSG clash

By Sports Desk September 30, 2023

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is facing an injury crisis ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Paris St Germain.

The 45-year-old oversaw a third successive Premier League win with a 2-0 defeat of Burnley at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon, but did so having lost Harvey Barnes for at least three months while facing up to the prospect of being without key defender Sven Botman, inspirational midfielder Joelinton and England striker Callum Wilson for the clash with the French champions.

Head coach Howe said: “You can add Joe Willock to that list, so 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.

“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.”

Botman and Wilson missed the Burnley game with knee and hamstring injuries respectively, while Joelinton damaged a hamstring four minutes after coming off the bench.

Howe said: “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 knee problem and I don’t think we’ll see him before the international break. Hopefully, we’ll see him very quickly afterwards.

“[Joelinton] looks like a hamstring. That would be a huge blow if we lose him, but we’ll wait and see.”

The injuries brought a sour note to an otherwise satisfactory afternoon on which the Magpies brushed aside the winless Clarets and might have won significantly more comfortably.

Miguel Almiron’s fine first-half finish and a penalty coolly converted by Alexander Isak 13 minutes from time secured a 2-0 win which was far more comfortable than the scoreline suggested.

Burnley might have gone ahead through Zeki Amdouni’s fourth-minute effort, which was blocked by keeper Nick Pope, but thereafter were decidedly second-best.

Howe said: “There’s no such thing as a regulation win.

“It was a tough game. You have to deliver your game plan well and I thought we did, probably after the first 10 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.”

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany was philosophical in defeat as his promoted side continues to come to terms with life in the top flight.

He said: “It was tough. We were playing against a very good side so it’s supposed to be tough. It’s not supposed to be easy, going to St James’ Park.

“But we started well, stayed in the game and then probably made a mistake that put the game a bit away from us. I can’t fault the team for the performance.

“I think there are plenty of managers who have come here, especially with promoted teams, who have said to win games here, to get a result, you need to have a little bit of luck on your side and to take your key moments, and I feel we were exactly the opposite there.”

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