Newcastle will be hosting Crystal Palace on Wednesday as part of the EFL Cup third round trying to advance in the competition and putting on a winning run toward the title. The Magpies' unbeaten streak stretches now for months with the last defeat at the hands of Liverpool happening all the way back on the last day of August.
Eddie Howe will go head-to-head against former Gunners midfield maestro Patrick Vieira who has put together an extraordinary rebuilding effort improving Palace on all fronts since he took charge of the Eagles in July of 2021.
Howe spoke to the media on Tuesday providing some fresh takes on Newcastle’s state of affairs mere hours before the game against Crystal Palace.
First things first, asked about his one-year anniversary as Magpie Gaffer:
“We knew we were in a big fight to stay in the league & we needed the team to deliver fundamentals, first in training, then on the pitch. That’s what we needed to do, to improve the defensive record.”
About Callum Wilson’s status after he left the game against Southampton at the break:
“He’s OK. He’s been ill for a few days so he’s a little bit run down but we’ll see how he is again today.”
On Kieran Trippier, who also seemed to go through some problems last weekend leading to his substitution:
“There’s no problems with Kieran.”
“It always looks more than it is when the physio comes onto the pitch but he came out second-half and he was fine.”
“As I said after the game it was my decision to take him off.”
Asked about Matt Target’s status, availability, and role in the team after Dan Burn’s incredible levels of play at the left-back position:
“He has trained very well, he’s very keen to play & I wouldn’t say he is happy not to play.”
“I think there’s a difference between being unhappy & sort of accepting of the situation. Matt has seen the team go on a brilliant run Burn has played well”
Speaking about the team selection now that more and more players are getting fit and available and the options are growing in numbers:
“We have a lot of players that are eager to play and show their qualities.”
“We have a tight turnaround with three games in six days so we’ll try and make the right call for the team while acknowledging that we’re desperate to progress.”
Most importantly ahead of the game against Palace and asked about the importance of the cup competitions Newcastle are part of, Howe had thoughts to share:
“The league form is so important to us as well but in every competitions we enter we want to give the best representation of ourselves.”
“I said very early on here that my dream is to try and win something for Newcastle and that hasn’t changed.”
About Palace and coach Vieira:
“They are a very well coached team.”
“Vieira continues to improve them. We know it’ll be a tough game.”
“They’ve slowly but surely changed the way they play. They have a clear method in their buildup and dangerous players in their forward areas.
On the ever-sold-out crowds at St James’ Park, including for Wednesday’s match:
“When you go into a cup draw the first thing you want is a home tie.”
“We’re always so proud to play in front of our own supporters so when you have a turnaround of three games in six days having two at home is a big lift for us.”
The second-to-last game before the World Cup break and the warm training camp away from home in Saudi Arabia taking place in a few weeks. Defeat Palace, defeat Chelsea, and go on vacation or enjoy the World Cup. As simple as that, lads!
- Date: Wednesday, November 9th
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST / 14:45 EST / 13:45 PST
- Location: St James’ Park, Newcastle (England)
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