Newcastle United forced to train with just 12 players as injury crisis sinks to new low at Benton

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has lifted the lid on the grim reality of the Magpies’ depleted squad options during the run-in.

Howe was irked by what he described as “misleading reports” on which players are back from injury after suggestions that Nick Pope, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton were edging closer to a return. But Newcastle chief Howe has been forced to train with as few as a dozen players during some sessions at Benton.

The Newcastle head coach said: “We still have players who are not 100% fit. We had a very small group in between the games which limits your options. We have been training with 12 or 13 players in the last 10 days.”

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The depth of the injury crisis was exposed further when Howe spoke about Tino Livramento travelling with the squad simply to sit on the bench as he is only an emergency option. But one big name that is back is Callum Wilson who was afforded 25 minutes against Crystal Palace in the 2-0 defeat.

Speaking about number 9 Wilson, Howe said: “He is huge and to have that option from the bench was a rare luxury for me to have a striker who can come on and make a difference.

“I think he did, he came on and improved our performance, he did well, looked fresh and strong and came through with no problems.”

Howe spoke of a “flat feeling” after the game but it is understood that his team were told in no uncertain terms they’d failed to deliver. With Howe weighing up options for next season, he indicated that a big improvement will be demanded against Sheffield United at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.

Howe said: “We were really consistent in the previous four games where we delivered big efforts to get results. Palace felt like a flat feeling and we didn’t deliver that (big effort) so we have to take accountability for that and make sure the uncomfortable feeling we have now we put right on Saturday.”

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View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-forced-train-just-29060607

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