Howe insists Newcastle stars ‘looked fatigued’ vs Spurs; takes ‘positives’ with Wilson, Longstaff back

Jason Soutar
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe and Bruno Guimaraes applaud the away fans.
Eddie Howe and Bruno Guimaraes applaud the away fans.

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe says his players “looked fatigued” in their 4-1 defeat at Tottenham on Sunday.

It has been a difficult season for the Magpies amidst an injury crisis at the club.

With one eye on their crucial Champions League clash against AC Milan on Wednesday, Howe’s side were not at it against Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs in north London.

Howe told Sky Sports: “We had our moments but we gave everything without the resources to give more.

“It is difficult because we play on Wednesday, this is what we wanted. We hoped to have the squad to cope with that but we’ve had worse injuries than any team that I can remember.

“We have light at the end of the tunnel. Callum [Wilson] and [Sean] Longstaff are two huge players for us. We have to be positive, take the pain and come fighting.

“You have to critique like you would normally; we weren’t in rhythm around the box and laced conviction. We didn’t defend the goals well enough.

“The moments were there, we had chances. There is always more, you can push yourself even when you’re tired.”

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Speaking to BBC Sport, Howe added that his players are pretty knackered.

“It was a tough game for us, I thought Tottenham played really well,” he said.

“It’s a difficult moment for us. We probably expected it to come a little bit earlier than it has. I think the lads have been really good to sustain the results that we were having.

“The last two have been tough games. Not us at our best. Physically we looked fatigued today and there was not much we could do about it.

“We were 2-0 down, trying to go for the game, I thought we were very good in that period. Then we conceded the third goal and the game changes. But we just have to keep going. The more players we can get back, everyone is so important.”

Cristian Romero was perhaps fortunate to remain on the pitch after a nasty challenge on Callum Wilson but Howe says he will not use that as an excuse.

“I was pleased to see Callum get up from that because it looked dangerous,” Howe added. “But we can’t use that as an excuse.

“We’ll look at the game and try and analyse it properly to work out who to select on Wednesday.

“We’re not aflush with options. That’s why I have to compliment the players because they’ve done so well in this difficult period.

“These last few games have been tough, but I think the lads are giving everything.”

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