Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has urged his side to show consistency as they look to keep their winning run going.
The Magpies are on back-to-back Premier League wins after beating Leeds and Everton in recent weeks and whilst admitting it is a great feeling, manager Howe has told his side to be ‘calm and focused’ ahead of their clash with Aston Villa.
Howe said: “Naturally when you win games it gives you a great feeling. After the Everton game it was great to share in that with the supporters. The players need to enter the pitch full of confidence knowing they’re going into a great environment to play football.
“I have to compliment the supporters on what they’ve given the team from day one. In some really difficult moments, they’ve always backed the players from start to finish and created some memorable moments for me personally. Hopefully many more to come.
“Consistency of results is key. What we can’t do is get too high after wins and get too low after defeats. We’ve got to be calm and focused on the next match. Football can change very quickly. We have to focus and be competitive as we have been.”
January signing Kieran Trippier scored his first goal for the club in the midweek win over Everton but picked up a knock late on and Howe is unsure if he will be available to take on Villa.
“We don’t think it’s a long term injury but we’ll have to make a late call on him. He’s been so important for us in recent games. I thought he was outstanding against Everton, highlighted by his free-kick.
“Apart from Kieran, we have no fresh injury concerns. Paul Dummett is getting closer and Fede Fernández is making good progress but still hasn’t trained with the group.”
🎙 Eddie Howe speaks to the media ahead of #NEWAVL.
On Kieran Trippier:
“We don’t think it’s a long term injury but we’ll have to make a late call on him. He’s been so important for us in recent games. I thought he was outstanding against Everton, highlighted by his free-kick.” pic.twitter.com/pd5pZc3KqH
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) February 11, 2022
Fellow January signing Bruno Guimaraes made his first appearance off the bench against Everton and How has been impressed with the Brazilian in training but refused to reveal if he would be given a start against Villa.
“He’s ready to play. He’s shown all the technical qualities that we love about him in training already but it’s a case of managing the group & making sure I make the right selections. I thought the midfield balance against Everton was really good.”
One player who definitely will not feature is another January signing in Matt Targett. The left-back in on loan from Villa so will be unable to play against his parent club but Howe is confident he has the options to cover for the defender, including yet another January signing.
“Dan Burn is an option for us and it’s great that I’ve got a couple of options in that position. (Javi) Manquillo has done really well at left-back – he came on against Leeds and made a huge impact.”
Newcastle’s fifth new signing Chris Wood is yet to get off the mark for the club but Howe isn’t too bothered by his lack of goals, citing his all round play as more important.
“He’ll want that goal but it’s not lost on me the difference he’s made to that front line. There’s been a lot of passes that he’s had no right to either get a touch on or just knock a defender which means we’re able to spend longer in their half.
“Also his work rate and teamwork. He’s covered for Maxi a couple of times when he’s out of position so for a striker to do those unselfish things has made a big difference. I don’t think you can underestimate all the aspects of his game that help the team.”