Howe's 'massive' admission

  • by Staff Writer
  • Saturday, 4th February 2023

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe says his team will "massively" miss midfield general Bruno Guimarães when they face West Ham at St James' Park this afternoon.

The Brazilian playmaker is currently suspended for three matches after being sent off against Southampton in the midweek Carabao Cup semi final.

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And Howe believes that could prove pivotal, despite his team going into the game unbeaten in their last five and having conceded only one goal during that period.

"We're going to miss him massively," he said, speaking during his pre-match presser. "He's a huge player who has done ever so well for us.

"Whenever you lose a player, you have to readjust. It'll be an opportunity for the team to regroup and find another way.

"The timing of it is difficult. We had a really intense period of games and now we don't. The good thing is he will be available for the Carabao Cup final, but we have three huge Premier League games to come.

"We have Elliot Anderson, who we really like. We'd love to see how he develops his Premier League career. We have other players we feel can play in midfield as well. We will obviously miss Bruno's presence and quality, but we'll adapt."

Meanwhile Howe confirmed that Harrison Ashby, a transfer deadline day signing from West Ham will be available for selection - along with former Everton striker Anthony Gordon.

"Both players will be available," he confirmed. "They did a couple of individual sessions around the game and trained with the group yesterday. It was a small group so they haven't trained fully with the team, but they're fit and fine.

"We think Harrison is a player that has huge potential. Naturally, he needs time here to progress and develop. He's got the ideal mentor in Kieran who will help him. We wanted to bring in more strength on that side of the pitch."

Meanwhile Howe admitted his team will be closely watching West Ham's midfield duo of Declan Rice and Lucas Paqueta - a player the Magpies were linked with during the summer.

"Paqueta gives West Ham something totally different in the middle of the pitch," he said. "We’re certainly preparing for a tough game, because him and [Declan] Rice are excellent players.

"[Paqueta] we certainly admire greatly. There are loads of different reasons [a move to Newcastle failed to materialise], transfer fees etc. He’s an outstanding talent, and plays in a number of positions. And he gives West Ham something totally different in the middle of the pitch."

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