Howe sends transfer plea to Newcastle owners after situation "suddenly changes"

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Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is worried injuries will stunt his ambitions (Image: Getty Images)
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is worried injuries will stunt his ambitions (Image: Getty Images)

Eddie Howe has warned Newcastle need transfer reinforcements if they are to compete on three fronts.

While £56million striker Alexander Isak is pushing to make his comeback in the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday, Howe says his squad could do with reinforcements due to injuries to Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Targett. Howe is in the market to do “injury-related” business with a midfielder the priority and Youri Tielemans, whose contract is running down at Leicester, a target.

Asked if the squad was strong enough to challenge at the top of the league and in two cups, Howe said: “Without any injuries, yes. With injuries, probably not. So we have two injuries at the moment, to Jonjo and Matt Targett, which are a huge blow for us.

“To take two quality players out of a squad that is not hugely deep in terms of numbers, that is why the transfer talk is interesting from our perspective, because it will be injury related. With a full group, I think we are strong enough and have quality in every position, but you lose a few players and suddenly that changes."

Newcastle claim to have Financial Fair Play issues which could hamper their ability to spend despite being owned by Saudi Arabia's wealth fund. Howe says Elliot Anderson won't be loaned out in January after recovering from a series of "niggles".

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Isak could figure at Hillsborough and Callum Wilson is battling to get back up to speed after illness. Allan Saint-Maximin is also desperate for a start.

On Sweden star Isak, Howe said: “I just don’t want to put pressure on him. We’ll introduce him at the right time. He’s getting closer all the time and he has trained with the team. I’m pleased with his progress.

Who should Newcastle sign in January? Have your say in the comments!

Howe sends transfer plea to Newcastle owners after situation "suddenly changes"Eddie Howe is looking to bolster his squad this month (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“There was a feeling of real frustration when he got injured because he wants to contribute and show his talents. He’s in a much better place now because he’s close and he’s training. Whenever a footballer is back on the grass with his teammates, your view on things is totally different.”

“It’ll be a huge lift. It’s a cliche but he’ll be like a new signing for us. He’s a massive player with huge ability, so we’re very keen to get him back on the pitch.”

Howe and his side have experienced flak for their stifling tactics against Arsenal, amid accusations of gamesmanship and time-wasting.

Howe insists he tries to produce fast-flowing football and had a message for the critics, biting back: "We are not here to be popular and to get other teams to like us. We are here to compete and to compete, we have to give everything to try and get a positive result.”

Howe is taking the cup seriously, adding: “I’ve said one of my big motivations here - and I know it is the same for the players - is to create our own history.

“We’d love in 50 to 100 years people to be talking about this team and things that we’ve done. That is a huge motivator for me and it always has been. You’re only in this moment for a short time at any club; time goes so quickly. You want to maximise that and try and leave a positive mark on the football club in any way we can.”

Simon Bird

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