The Foxes defeated MK Dons in the Carabao Cup and so did Newcastle facing Bournemouth last Wednesday. Both teams advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition, will meet next Monday, and will do so once more in the second week of January after the next-round draw wanted it that way.
After beating his former club 1-0 and speaking to the media on Friday morning, Eddie Howe addressed a bunch of different topics ahead of Christmas and the game at Leicester on Boxing Day that will kick next week off.
Asked about the quarter-final draw results and the upcoming match against Leicester in the cup:
“I’m really pleased to be at home.”
“It’s a tough game. Whoever you get at this stage of the competition you know it’s going to be an elite game so we’re looking forward to it.”
About the anticipated return of Alexander Isak, which is still up in the air:
“He’s doing well. We’re pleased with him.”
“Is he going to make the next couple of Premier League games? Probably not.”
“He’s going in the right direction and we hope in the busy January period he can play a big part in that.”
On The Ultimate Warrior, Sven Botman, who has taken this thing about playing for Newcastle as seriously as one young man can:
“Looking back to the Chelsea game, his performance was very good and you wouldn’t have known there was anything on his mind except Newcastle.”
“He’s come back and put in a great performance against Bournemouth.”
“I know there was initial disappointment when he wasn’t included in the World Cup squad but he was really mature.”
“I think his career is in a very good place and my message would be just to concentrate on what he can control which is performing well for us and the rest will take care of itself.”
Speaking about Magpie Legend Jonjo Shelvey, who returned from injury in late October appearing in four games with Newcastle but came back from the World Cup to play only three minutes against Bournemouth last Wednesday:
“He’s a key component of our squad.”
“He’s got that experience but also a fierce drive and determination to play.”
“He’s got unique skills that we need in the team so I’m delighted to get him back.”
On Allan Saint-Maximin, the (supposed) odd man out of the lineup after getting injured but still (as he showed a few days ago) a prime candidate to start games on a weekly basis:
“The challenge for Maxi is we’re building him, fitness wise, back to his best levels.”
“Being the player he is, he needs to be able to sprint and sprint repeatedly at high levels but I feel he’s going in the right direction.”
“For me he’s the best dribbler in the Premier League and you need that in your team.”
“Maxi is a massive player for us. You saw as soon as he entered the pitch against Bournemouth he’s got that ability to put an opponent on the back foot.”
“He’s a key player for us.”
The Premier League returns on Boxing Day next Monday, Dec. 26, with Newcastle flying to Leicester to face a middle-of-the-pack Foxes squad that they’ll meet again in January.
A win by Newcastle would see them go to sleep in second place on Monday. The Toon Army could certainly live with that.
- Date: Monday, December 26th
- Kick-off: 15:00 BST / 10:00 EST / 8:00 PST
- Location: King Power Stadium, Leicester (England)
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