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Eddie Howe Press conference ahead of Man Utd clash: Team News, Transfer Talk and VAR



Credit - SCOTT HEPPELL via REUTERS - Eddie Howe unhappy with officials and use of VAR...

Eddie Howe talked to the press today ahead of the Premier League fixture against Manchester United at St. James’ Park on Monday 27th December – 8pm kick-off.

The game next week brings to an end an extremely challenging Christmas period, as Newcastle face a run of winnable matches in their quest for survival.

Manchester United returned to training earlier this week after a covid outbreak at the club and therefore haven’t played since December 11th.

Howe confirmed today that there are no cases of Covid at Newcastle United and he’s hopeful that both Emil Krafth and Javi Manquillo will be available after illness.

After the visit of the Red Devils, the Magpies play: Everton (A), Southampton (A), Watford (H), Leeds (A) and the reverse fixture against the Toffees.

The upcoming fixture list provides Howe’s side with the perfect opportunity to get some much needed points and add to their tally of 10 after 18 games.


Newcastle have the worst defensive record in the league having shipped 41 goals so far this campaign and will be looking to sign some major reinforcements at the back in the upcoming January transfer window.

When asked about Dan Ashworth and transfers on Thursday Morning, Howe responded by saying:

“I highly respect Dan and his work, but I won’t go into any more than that. I don’t think it’s right. He works for another football club. Yes, I highly respect and like him, but I won’t comment any more.”

Eddie Howe then commented on on Nick Hammond, who he’s known for ‘a number of years’:

“I’ve known of him and his work. He’s a really good guy and very keen to help the process and add his experience to the football club.”


Eddie Howe:

“We have a few players that are still out. Federico Fernandez, Paul Dummett and Jamal Lewis will all miss the game but we’ll hopefully have Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo back from illness.”

Paul Dummet was pictured in training this week and is expected to return to the squad in the coming weeks with Howe hoping he is back sooner rather than later given the importance of the upcoming fixture list.

“It’s brilliant, but I can’t put a timescale on when he could come back.”

Eddie Howe speaking in the main press conference on Covid cases:

“We have a clean bill of health currently and we’re going though our testing every day.With the current infection rate around the country, we’re doing well at the moment to stay clear of it.”

With this most recent team news it seems that Newcastle might make a few changes for the clash with Man Utd. Schar may potentially replace Clark, who perhaps again showed his lack of Premier League quality, while Javi Manquillo could return in place of Jacob Murphy.

Allan Saint-Maximin seems to have got over his reported injury sustained in the defeat to Liverpool and featured in the second half on Sunday, meaning he is likely to make the starting eleven against Man Utd.

Jonjo Shelvey missed the game against City as precaution due to his history with injuries, but isn’t thought to have a ‘long-term’ issue.

The ex-Swansea man scored at Anfield last week and has been one of the most promising players under the new leadership of Eddie Howe. The manager hopes to have Jonjo Shelvey back from injury after missing Man City, although he couldn’t be seen in the training photos from Wednesday that the club released.

Isaac Hayden misses the clash with the Red Devils after receiving his fifth yellow of the season last time out.

Federico Fernandez

Credit: @Fede Fernandez instagram


“It’s a difficult one to put a timescale on but it’s weeks rather than months. We’ll wait and see how he responds. He’s definitely going to be out of the Christmas period and most of January but he’s working hard and improving every day.”

Jamal Lewis

Credit: @JamalLewis Instagram


“I don’t think it will be too long. It’s not a major injury but it’s enough to keep him out of the festive period and some games in early January. Hamstring strains are usually 3-4 weeks minimum and I think that’s probably where he’ll be.”


Eddie Howe:

“When VAR was introduced I think it was used regularly to try and get the right decision because that’s what we’re all after. I think the use has been diluted and I don’t see it effectively intervening as much as it did in a positive way.”

The Newcastle boss then explained the reasoning behind the complaints over refereeing standards after his side have been on the wrong end of VAR calls in their last three games.

Leicester were given a penalty by referee Bankes after a blatant dive by James Maddison and in the next game, Liverpool were allowed to play-on by Mike Dean and subsequently equalise after Isaac Hayden was down in the box clutching his head.

The worst decision of the lot came against Manchester City when the Magpies were denied a stonewall penalty by Martin Atkinson after Ederson uncontrollably collided with Ryan Fraser without the ball in sight.

Newcastle have asked for clarification on these decisions from a governing body…

Eddie Howe explained further:

“All we’re asking for is just some clarity on the decisions, really, and how the officials at the time, be they on the pitch at the time or VAR, have come to those decisions.

“That’s all we’re asking for.

“To try and help the processes for the future because those decisions have influenced the results, I have no doubt about that.”

He added:

“There’s been definitely a feeling of unjustness, I can definitely feel that without the group.There’s been a feeling of disbelief at some things within the games that have gone against us. I certainly have felt that at half-time and at the end of games, but my focus is on the future with the players and what we can influence.”


With the rapid rise in Covid cases experienced worldwide due to the new Omicron variant, the Premier League were forced to postpone six out of the ten games last weekend and are expected to cancel more games during the winter period.

The rise in cases has also raised questions over the potential for playing behind closed doors and limiting the number of supporters allowed in stadiums.

Scotland have announced they will be limiting numbers at sporting events and Wales have followed suit…

There is a distinct possibility that the Premier League will have to make changes to the current matchday regulations and manager Eddie Howe has said he is prepared for that.

Eddie Howe:

“I’ve always said I want to play. My point has been that for the benefit of the league you want a level playing field. It’s a tough challenge for the Premier League with postponements but the integrity of the competition is fundamental.”
When asked about limiting crowd numbers, Howe added:
“It would be the least preferential route for us. We know how important the fans are, since they’ve come in. We would hate to play in front of an empty stadium. But I am aware that the health and safety for everybody is important.”
Eddie Howe:

“We’ll ask the players to follow the guidelines but we also want them to enjoy their Christmas. They’re human beings and we want them to enjoy their time with their loved ones and look forward to a great game against Manchester United.”

He added:

“They’ll train individually on Christmas Day. The way the week has gone, we have trained & prepared but with the game being a day later we think it’s right, and within our schedule, to let them spend Christmas with their families. They will be working just in an individual way.”

Pre-match thoughts?

Can Newcastle pull off an upset against Man Utd? How confident are you that the Magpies can survive relegation?

Join in the conversation and have your say.

More to follow…






Eddie Howe Wants to Keep Two Out of Contract Players this Summer.



Eddie Howe Wants to Keep Two Out of Contract Players this Summer.

Newcastle United boss wants to extend the contracts of two players before losing them.

Eddie Howe has expressed in a recent fan Q&A his intentions to keep two out of contract players this summer, Loris Karius and Paul Dummett, according to the Athletic’s Chris Waugh, with both players current contracts set to end this summer.

6 players are currently set to become out of contract come June 1st, Loris Karius, Paul Dummet, Mark Gillespie, Matt Ritchie, Matty Longstaff and Ciaran Clark. However, it is only Karius and Dummett that appear to be safe of getting the chop.

Loris Karius has spent this season as Newcastle United’s third choice keeper, with only one appearance coming in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup Final. Despite the loss, Karius did little wrong and contributed some wonderful saves late on in that game.

Paul Dummett has had the same treatment, with only one appearance coming his way, a Carabao Cup tie in the second round against Tranmere Rovers back in August. The 31-year-old Welshman is an experienced head and will no doubt have great respect within the dressing room having signed for the club back in 2012 making 205 appearances in that time.

Both players can expect new contracts from Eddie Howe as he has made it known that he wants them both to remain at the club next season.


Who would you want to remain at the club from the current out of contract list – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –

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Top 10 Free Transfers NUFC Could Sign This Summer



Newcastle United Free Transfers - top 10 Summer 2023

10 players Eddie Howe could look towards with contracts expiring at the end of this season.

The free agent’s market is the absolute cheat code for clubs across the board, being able to avoid the rising transfer fees and getting players through the door through verbal agreements makes life much easier for clubs during the transfer window.

We have compiled a list of 10 free transfers NUFC could sign this summer from Europe’s top five leagues giving them a rating of the potential of them signing and the impact they would have.


  1. Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)

The 29-year-old full back has his contract expiring this summer and with NUFC already being hinted at as his potential new club, this one is worth keeping an eye on over the next few months. He would slot straight in at left-back to have healthy competition for fan favourite Dan Burn and add a burst of class and pace to that left hand side. The Portugal international already has an impressive CV and would be looking to show that off to the St. James faithful.

Potential – A

Impact – A


  1. Yerry Mina (Everton)

With Everton potentially facing the drop this season, a jump from Merseyside to Newcastle could suit the centre back to a T. The 28-year-old Columbian international would add to NUFC’s already in form back line and bring some South American heat as they look to progress further next season. Mina possesses dominance, aggression, and a great ariel threat and would be a top addition to the magpies this summer.

Potential – B

Impact – A


  1. Jonathan Bamba (Lille)

An explosive winger who made his name known as Lille snatched the league title in 2021 in France, the 26-year-old is still yet to receive a contract extension from the club and could be looking elsewhere in the summer. Adding pace, flair, and drive to an already exciting front three for NUFC could be what fans need going into next season.

Potential – C

Impact – A


  1. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)

Reportedly being close to leaving in the summer window of 2022, Youri Tielemans would be a fine addition to NUFC’s midfield being able to operate in a slightly deeper role to allow Bruno to push further up the field and do what he does best. The 25-year-old has his contract expiring this summer and with him and James Maddison already being linked to the club, this transfer seems to make so much more sense and would add heaps of quality to the centre of the field.

Potential – B

Impact – A


  1. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Drive, power, and flair are the 3 best words to describe Crystal Palace star man Wilfried Zaha. The 30-year-old could be looking to depart his beloved club in the hope for European football next season and NUFC could be just the place for him. Being able to operate either on the left or down the middle, Zaha would thrive under Eddie Howe and be a fantastic addition to the front line.

Potential – B

Impact – A

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Sunderland suspend Jack Diamond after player is charged with rape and sexual assault



A Sunderland football player on loan to Lincoln FC has had his loan terminated after he was charged with rape.

Jack Diamond, 23, had been arrested after a sexual assault in Washington, Tyne and Wear, last year.

Northumbria Police launched an investigation, but have now charged him with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Lincoln City FC said the player’s loan contract had been terminated “with immediate effect”.

His home club, Sunderland AFC, said he had been suspended pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

In a statement, it said: “Sunderland AFC has been notified that criminal charges have been brought against Jack Diamond by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

“As this matter is subject to a legal process, the club will not be making any further statement at this time”.

The incident is alleged to have happened in May last year.

Mr Diamond, of Fatfield, also Washington, is due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in May.

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