The Newcastle United Blog | Howe able to manage his team with dominant wins
Eddie Howe named an unchanged team to claim a second trotting victory for the first time this season. Last week’s dominating 4-1 win at Fulham gave Eddie Howe the impetus he needed to keep the same team.
The group outdid themselves today with the 5-1 win over Brentford at St. James’ Park the day after the first anniversary of the takeover. With the two wins Newcastle moved up to 5th in the table with the 5th best goal difference.
After the match, Howe said the following on the benefit of naming an unchanged team as posted in The Echo of the North:
“I was able to protect a few players. Maxi has only just returned to training with us and is entering the early stages of his recovery, so we haven’t had to get him started.
“Joelinton, we were able to give his knee another week to recover. Those are huge positives because going into a three-game week we’re going to need the whole squad.
Saint-Maximin and Joelinton came on in the second half. If all goes well this week, they will be in contention for Manchester United next Sunday. As Howe said, the pace is picking up with Everton at home this Wednesday before the end of the week with a Sunday trip to Tottenham.
There will be chances for players to impress during this week with Alexander Isak also potentially making a comeback. Newcastle are slowly recovering from the injury problems that plagued September.
The lopsided scores also allowed Howe to replace his stars late. For the second week in a row, Howe retired Bruno Guimaraes, Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier. These early outings will help with recovery.
Howe was asked about Bruno, who hosted a masterclass this afternoon. He opened his account in the first half with his header to get Newcastle off the ground. He added a superb second-half strike to suck the wind out of Brentford after they cut their deficit to one goal.
Saint-Maximin entered with Guimaraes withdrawn after being treated on the pitch. His problem did not seem serious and Howe gave the following explanation for the substitution:
“I told him to run away, then once he was done, let me know.
“I think the beauty of Bruno is that he won’t let the team down – when he gets to the point where he’s done and done, he obviously improves his fitness level after his injury and then he takes responsibility and let me know. I was able to remove it.
Newcastle suffered without Bruno earlier in the season. He has returned to his best level in the past two weeks. The Brazilian is an integral part of the way Newcastle play and there is currently no suitable replacement in the squad.
Kieran Trippier has a similar level of impact on this team. The bench was again without a natural replacement for the 32-year-old, who again got a deserved break late. Matt Targett has been recruited for Kieran.
Howe said the following about Trippier’s withdrawal:
“He (Trippier) just got a bit tired I think today. He came back from his service in England where he didn’t play, and those two weeks can sometimes upset the normal routine and schedule of a player.
“Touch wood, there’s no injury with him, but we’re just trying to really take care of him and get him through these games.”
At the moment, it looks like Newcastle won’t have any new injury concerns ahead of the trip to Old Trafford. Howe has an extra day to prepare for the Red Devils with soaring confidence after two impressive straight wins.