In an attempt to prepare the best team possible for Tuesday’s League Cup quarterfinal matchup against Chelsea, manager Eddie Howe is still unsure about the availability of several important Newcastle United players.
Howe told reporters on Monday that scan results for midfielder Joelinton and defender Fabian Schar, who were hurt during Newcastle’s victory over Fulham on Sunday, didn’t seem “too bad,” but they weren’t certain either.
“It would be a huge blow to miss Fabby,” he remarked, addressing Schar.
Moving forward Howe said that although Alexander Isak’s groyne injury prevented him from playing on Sunday, it was not too serious. “In order to prevent him from being out for six or seven weeks, we must treat him properly. We need to exercise caution, but he has a chance for tomorrow,” the coach stated.
However, the return of center-back Sven Botman from a three-month knee injury was a significant plus for Newcastle.
Sven is one of the players that really helps the squad out of certain players. He makes a significant impact and instills confidence in the players around him, Howe continued.
Newcastle finished as runners-up in 1976 and the previous season, although they have never won the League Cup. Nonetheless, Howe believed that visiting Wembley in February had aided in this campaign.
We’ve witnessed the benefits that can result from it. Being a part of the build-up to the final was fantastic, and it was amazing to witness the number of supporters we brought to London. Our year has benefited from it, he remarked.
With five League Cup victories under its belt, the most recent coming in 2015, Chelsea has a stronger pedigree in the competition. Even though its home form has significantly improved since the end of October, it has struggled this season.
Howe, though, was optimistic that Newcastle could snap a five-game losing record in road games across all competitions.
“We defeated Manchester United on the road and came just inches short of defeating Paris Saint-Germain.” I have faith in our moral fibre. We’re ready for the battle, he declared.