Having given starts to Isaac Hayden, Ryan Fraser and Jacob Murphy on Thursday, Eddie Howe has hinted that he will continue to rotate the squad for Newcastle’s daunting fixture against Manchester City at St James’ Park this Sunday.
Speaking at his brief pre-match press conference on Friday, Howe hinted at player fatigue as the main reason, as lack of possession against such top teams saps so much energy due to continued running off the ball:
“The challenge we face in games like this is being without the ball for long periods of time…the physical effort and exertion of the players is really tested and we are obviously going to have to rotate the team…making sure the players on the pitch are as fresh as can be.”
He’ll be forced into at least one change this weekend, with Jamal Lewis set to miss out after suffering a “bad” hamstring injury at Anfield.
Howe was impressed at the efforts of all his players in the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool and had particular praise for the three that came in:
“Ryan Fraser gave everything to the match physically…and Hayden and Murphy really put in a shift too.”
In a tribute to NUFC fans, the manager also emphasised that against City, “the home crowd should inspire us.”
Being up against a team that last time out thrashed Leeds United 7-0, let’s hope that whoever does make our starting eleven on Sunday, will be highly energised by our world famous ‘12th man’.