Howe speaks out from Saudi Arabia – Talks transfers, 4 injured players & Friday’s friendly

Eddie Howe is hoping to make a “couple more” additions over the final few days of the transfer window, confirming a “lot of hard work” is behind done behind the scenes back in England.

The squad are currently in Jeddah for a mid-season training camp in Saudi, with us set to play a friendly against Al-Ittihad on Friday before jetting back to the UK over the weekend.

Howe has praised the facilities at our disposal and revealed that the players are in great spirits after that 1-0 win over Leeds – although he has admitted that Joelinton, Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett haven’t trained as yet as we await more news on the injuries they picked up last weekend.

The NUFC boss also revealed that Federico Fernandez is ‘edging closer’ to being back in full training, but won’t be rushed back after being out with a thigh injury since mid December.

Speaking to NUFC TV, here’s what Howe had to say on all of the above:

Howe on the training camp in Jeddah:

“It’s hot, which is great when you are not training, when you are training the humidity is tough for the players.

“Finished a good day today, got what we wanted out of the session.

“So the lads are in good spirits and obviously boosted by the result last weekend.

“I think naturally when you are together you feel the last result, that doesn’t leave you, so there’s a lot of positive emotions and feelings from that.

“The boys have been really good amongst each other, really positive.

“The facilities are very good here, the pitches are a good standard, we’ve used the gym regularly since we have been here, so we have had everything that we need.

“A couple of team building activities as well, so really pleased so far, but more work to be done.”

Howe on the three players (Joelinton, Dummett and Lascelles) forced off at Leeds:

“The three players that came off, none of them have trained, and we don’t expect them to, immediately.

“I’m not sure the extent of the injuries.

“I think it is one of those that are difficult to judge because we may need scans to determine that and we haven’t had the luxury of doing that yet.”

Howe on Federico Fernandez’s fitness:

“He is edging closer to returning to the group.

“Not quite there yet, so it is a delicate stage for him.

“We obviously want him back as quickly as possible but we don’t want to push him to where he has a setback.

“So we have got to try and manage the next bit right.”

Howe on the welcome they’ve received in Saudi:

“It’s been excellent.

“The people have been really, really nice and the hotel is first class.

“We’ve been really treated very well and it was nice there just at the end [of training] to share a moment with the kids here and see how they are developing and what they are doing with their youngsters.

“It’s been mutually beneficial both from our side and from their side.”

Howe on Friday’s friendly with Al-Ittihad:

“I think the game is a good thing for us.

“When you don’t have a game for an extended period, the doubt can be that you don’t expose your players to the pitch dimensions.

“So at least we have that game to acclimatise ourselves back with the pitch and the correct match distances.

“The main thing is, you just hope we get through it without any more injuries.”

“So touch wood it goes well and we come back 100%,”

Howe on transfers being worked on behind the scenes:

“Yes, a lot of hard work being done back in England.

“I think they have no news to tell anybody at the moment but I’m keeping regularly updated and finger on the pulse as to what is happening.

“As we know, it is a difficult window and we just hope we can get a couple more additions to boost the squad.”

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

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