Journalist Lee Ryder has revealed the two Newcastle United players that were namechecked by Eddie Howe as leaders.
It is a somewhat new-look Newcastle side out in Austria, with the likes of Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle, who have spent many years with the club, not with the squad. Meanwhile, new signings Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett are all taking in their first pre-season with the Magpies.
Newcastle’s marquee signing Botman is still at a tender age just 22 years old but arrived with much fanfare around him, and Howe will know he needs leaders in the dressing room if the Magpies are to push on from their 11th-place finish last season.
This is where experienced pros such as Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn will come into the fold – as was the case out in Austria, with Ryder claiming:
“Players were reminded about their work-rate in the session and Howe also called on his dressing room leaders to lift things, with Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn namechecked in training. Every single segment of training is also filmed by drone, meaning there really is no hiding place under Howe.”
Who would you rather start for Newcastle?
TIF Thoughts on Burn and Trippier’s role…
It’s clear that Newcastle want to lower the average age of their squad – which was the fifth-highest in the league last season – as they’re linked with the likes of Sekou Mara and Alan Virginius, which would help them plan for the long-term future of the club.
However, having players who are older, wiser and have more experience are equally as important as they can drive up standards and push players beyond their limits to help the club’s cause, which is something Howe seemingly wants from Trippier and Burn.
This will be a major boost for someone such as Burn, who will know he now has major competition for a spot on the left side of the defence in the form of big-money arrival Botman, but if Howe sees him as a leader, it could point towards him still having a big role to play on Tyneside.