Newcastle will be hosting Bournemouth on Tuesday as part of the EFL Cup fourth round trying to advance in the competition and putting on a winning run toward the title now that club football is finally back after the World Cup.
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 his former club for the second time this season after doing so last September in a matchup that ended in a 1-1 draw with the Magpies' goal scored by Alexander Isak (ugh).
Howe spoke to the media on Monday providing some fresh takes on Newcastle’s state of affairs mere hours before the game against Bournemouth.
Discussing how important tomorrow’s game is, which of course it is because, you know, it’s a win-or-go-home type of clash:
“We’ve looked at trying to get ourselves in the best possible physical condition for this game and not just use it as a step for the Premier League.”
“We give this game the same importance as a league game as it’s a chance to progress.”
About the return of Newcastle’s players from Qatar and international play to don Magpie Threads again, starting tomorrow:
“Everyone has returned in a slightly different position but now the collective mind goes into Newcastle.”
“Whatever has happened for that individual, it’s now about coming back to our team and embracing everything we are.”
Speaking about Brazil international Bruno in particular:
“He is fine, physically.”
“Bruno is focused on the future and that’s important - whatever happened to them at the World Cup, they put that behind them and use whatever positive things they can from the competition but now focus on what’s ahead.”
Asked about Allan Saint-Maximan, who returned before the break and played again in the mid-season friendlies:
“I think there’s a slight injury but we’ll see today how he comes in.”
“After a game things can be sore but they can settle quickly so hopefully that’s the case.”
About the recovering and banged-up Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson:
“Not much has changed with Alex, we’re still in the same situation.”
“We’re assessing him day by day and want to make sure when he returns in the best possible condition.”
“There are no issues with Callum—he’s fine.”
The first game after the World Cup break is here and with it comes the return of club football. Man, it’s about damn time. Defeat Bournemouth, advance. Drop this one, get sad. As simple as that, lads!
- Date: Tuesday, December 20th
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST / 14:45 EST / 12:45 PST
- Location: St James’ Park, Newcastle (England)
For all your international watching needs, check LiveSoccerTV.com.