Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe will have his fitness team working “overtime” in order to get players back ready for match action.
That is according to journalist Pete O’Rourke, who was speaking to This is Futbol about the latest news at St James’ Park.
Howe currently has five of his first-team squad out through injury, including midfielder Bruno Guimarães, winger Allan Saint-Maximin, and striker Callum Wilson.
Although the Magpies have only suffered one defeat in their opening six Premier League fixtures, the club have also only won one of those games, suggesting that the former Bournemouth manager could do with his best players being passed fit sooner rather than later.
And O’Rourke believes that Howe will have his staff working around the clock to ensure that the Newcastle manager has his best players at his disposal as quickly as possible.
He said: “You don’t want to lose your best players right now, and obviously Newcastle made a really bright start to the season.
“Obviously, a couple of disappointing results in the last few weeks. That’s coincided with injuries to some key players like the likes of Bruno Guimarães – obviously, Callum Wilson also being injured as well.
“You don’t want to lose your best players at any stage of the season, so I’m sure Eddie Howe will be having his fitness team working overtime to get his best players fit and available so he can put his best team on the pitch.”
TIF Thoughts on O’Rourke’s comments…
We believe that Howe will be encouraging his medical staff to be doing everything in their power to ensure that players such as Guimarães, Wilson and Saint-Maximin are back on the pitch in the near future.
We are also in agreement with O’Rourke that an extra emphasis may have been placed on getting their star players back to full fitness as quickly as possible – particularly given their recent form, as it does point to a lack of strength in depth.
Despite the feel-good factor around St James’ Park at the moment following a solid transfer window in which the club spent around £60m on Sweden striker Alexander Isak, Howe will know that after being winless in five Premier League games, there is only so much longer they can go on without a victory.
And it shows that despite the calibre of the incomings on Tyneside this summer, the quality in depth perhaps still needs work at Newcastle, so their current run may just temper expectations a little despite the club dreaming of big things in the future.
Therefore, we think that it would be in the club’s best interests to ensure they are doing all the right processes to get their main players back on the pitch without rushing them back and risking further injury.