Newcastle United are returning to St James’ Park just a week after the 6-1 stomping of Tottenham the last time they played home. Not that playing on the road hurt the Magpies, though, considering they just put a monster 4-1 result on the Goodison Park scoreboard.
The lads are back at SJP, anyway, and looking forward to demolishing another minnow bound to experience relegation this season—bottom-dwellers from Southampton. Coincidentally, the first time both teams met this season in the Premier League, last November, things ended exactly the same as they did against Everton just a few days ago: with a sound and solid 4-1 win for your boys.
Howe took to the microphones and addressed the most pressing questions by the media on Thursday, following the win against Everton and right before returning to St James’ Park for the game against Southampton on Sunday, April 30th.
The gaffer spoke about Soton’s visit to St James’ Park on Sunday to start things off.
“It’s a difficult game. I think they are fighting.”
“They were very good against the league leaders, they scored three goals and looked a real threat in transitions and set plays.”
“We’ve played Southampton three times I think this season so we know their qualities— they’re a good team.”
“It’s going to be difficult.”
About the absolutely undeniable and unstoppable run of form by the Magpies of late—barring that loss to Aston Villa.
“Winning is everything. It’s what you’re paid to do, but it’s what you plan to do.”
“I’m so proud of everyone connected with the club this year with what we’ve given—players, staff, board, everyone—and we feel really united at the moment.”
“Things are going well and we’re not taking that for granted because we know quickly it can change.”
“We’re enjoying the feeling we’re having and long may that continue.”
Speaking about those comparisons between Alexander Isak and Thierry Henry, following his stunning Maradonian play against Everton...
“I can see the comparisons there.”
“I think everyone is different but I do think he has some of the characteristics that Thierry had. He’s got the speed and a similar build and frame.”
“The footwork for the assist tonight was truly remarkable and I think he’s got a lot of potential to improve and get better so it’s been a great, great start for him here.”
What about winning seven of the last eight games, boss?
“I think there’s a real confidence about the group of players we have.”
“Regardless of who we pick at the moment, it seems that confidence is there in the group. I thought we saw it with Anthony (Gordon) and Elliot (Anderson) when they came on as well.”
“I think conference is such a key thing in any football club and any team so I think the key thing for us is not to take that for granted, and not to back off from what we’re doing to create that and what the players are doing to create that.”
“There’s a lot of hard work going in and we need to not take our eye off the ball.”
Bad news related to Allan Saint-Maximin as he will miss another game while he keeps recovering from his injured hammy.
“He won’t be available for Sunday—maybe the game after, but no guarantee at this moment.”
“I certainly hope he’ll be before the end of the season but with hamstring injuries there’s always that element of doubt.”
“He’s not had a setback. He just needs to build his fitness levels up and make sure he’s fully fit before he comes back.”
Southampton will have to do without Mohamed Salisu and Juan Larios, along Tino Livramento who got his ACL murdered earlier this season and is out for the year. On the positive side of the Saints’ injury report, Armel Bella-Kotchap could return to the pitch on Sunday.
It looks like James Ward-Prowse will be a game-time decision after only playing 45 minutes in Soton’s matchup with Bournemouth last Thursday—he’s going through a non-COVID illness and he couldn’t make it past the first half then. Romain Perraud is doubtful after getting forced off Thursday’s matchup against AFC earlier this week.
- Date: Sunday, April 30th
- Kick-off: 14:00 BST / 9:00 EST
- Location: St James’ Park, Newcastle (England)
- Broadcasts: fuboTV (CAN) — Peacock (USA) — N/A (UK)
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