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Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle - Eddie Howe: Pre-Match Press Conference

Golden nuggets from Howe before visiting Crystal Palace in the next Premier League game

Newcastle United v Fulham FC - Premier League Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

It’s been a week of rest for Newcastle after the Magpies crashed out of the FA Cup earlier this month having lost to Sheff Wednesday.

With no games played following last weekend’s thriller against Fulham at St James’ Park, NUFC returns to action this Saturday going on the road to visit Crystal Palace in London for the third matchup between both sides this season (one in the Premier League, one in the Carabao Cup) and two draws in the prior two.

Of course, that’s only partially true, as Newcastle got the better of Palace the last time they met in early November finishing that match tied at 0-0 but edging the Eagles in the penalty shootout and advancing to the next round of the League Cup. Hey, look at us now.

After dropping points against Leeds on New Year’s Eve and Arsenal on Jan. 3, the Magpies returned to their EPL winning ways last Sunday against another club based in London. Let’s hope the trend keeps going for at least one more week with a clash against Palace tomorrow before a trip to Southampton come Tuesday in the EFL Cup semi-finals.

Howe took to the microphones and addressed the most pressing questions by the media on Friday, ahead of the matchup against Crystal Palace to be played on the road at Selhurst Park on Saturday, Jan. 21.

The most pressing question arrived early. And yes, you guessed it right: it involved Bruno’s injury:

“Bruno’s scan was positive.”

“He’s doing OK. He was devastated last week.”

“We’re still not sure when he’s going to be back but he’s making good progress.”

“Hopefully it’s not a long-term injury. As we speak we just hope it’s not long term.”

“We’ll have a constant eye on that situation.”

Howe also confirmed the departure of forward Chris Wood, which is expected to join Nottingham Forest for the remainder of the season:

“Chris is having a medical with Forest as we speak, so that’s the situation.”

“He’s been a huge player for us and he’s been outstanding in every way.”

“When we signed him we were in a very difficult position. We can’t underestimate the role he’s played.”

“If you go three, four days ago, [selling Wood] wouldn’t have been something that was on my horizon, losing a player we’ve used so much.”

“You have to understand that January can be a very unpredictable month, and you have to react to that.”

Howe followed that up by addressing the potential arrival of reinforcements through the January transfer window:

“In forward areas you want a player that can excite the fans.”

“[Forwards] are the hardest to recruit, but that’s our task.”

“(When looking for a forward to sign in January, he) being ready to play now is important.”

“We’re hopefully planning to replace Chris Wood.”

Asked about Alexander Isak’s impact on the team and their results, including hitting last weekend’s game-winning goal:

“The reason we brought him in was that we really believe in him and the qualities he has.”

“I believe he’s a goalscorer but he’s also a goal creator.”

“I think he had a huge impact against Fulham—he just changed the dynamic of our play.”

“His versatility attracted us to him. I was so pleased for him last week.”

“We can play Alex in a number of positions. He can play as a No. 9, as a striker or out wide, but it isn’t his favoured position.”

On the old-time’ scapegoat of the team, Sean Longstaff:

“He’s been excellent.”

“He does a lot of tireless work for the team in every phase.”

“I think he’s improved in all aspects and I think there’s goals in him as well.”

“[Goals] will hopefully come, but to this point he’s been a vital cog in our team.”

Speaking about tomorrow’s opponent Crystal Palace, which Newcastle will be facing on the road:

“The two games we’ve had against them have been very tight.”

“It’s always a tough place to go. We go there in good form but we don’t underestimate the challenge.”

“Patrick Vieira is a very good manager and they have some very dangerous players.”

Asked about the rather large group of goalkeepers currently under a first-team contract at Newcastle:

“Loris [Karius] has been excellent. Some really good training sessions among the keepers we have.”

“We have a unique situation with the Carabao Cup because Martin (Dubravka) is cup-tied.”

“(The will be) probably some late movement (involving goalkeepers).”

Palace is coming in hot (or so they want you to believe) after having drawn a game against even-hotter Man Utd (this assessment is more factual, we acknowledge).

That said, Crystal Palace had dropped points in the prior three competitive games they played between Jan. 4 and Jan. 15 including matchups against Tottenham (0-4 in the EPL), Southampton (1-2 in the FA Cup), and Chelsea (0-1 back in EPL action).

You have to go all the way back to Dec. 31 to find Palace winning a game, which they did by defeating Bournemouth and beating them 2-0 on New Year’s Eve. That’s already three weeks ago, folks.

Don’t count on adding three more points easily, because they don’t gift them, but keep dreaming. Your Magpies have the chance of going to sleep tomorrow sitting in third place with no Man Utd game until Sunday evening... against the Premier League leaders.

  • Date: Saturday, January 21st
  • Kick-off: 17:30 BST / 12:30 EST
  • Location: Selhurst Park, London (England)
  • Broadcasts: fuboTV (CAN) — UNIVERSO NOW, NBC, UNIVERSO, Peacock, SiriusXM FC, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA) — Sky Sports Premier League, BBC Radio 5 Live, Sky Ultra HD, SKY GO Extra, Sky Sports Main Event (UK)

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