Howe to make late calls for first-team stars for Cherry Cup clash

NEWCASTLE United boss Eddie Howe is expected to make late calls on a number of players ahead of tomorrow’s Carabao Cup clash with Cherries (7.45pm).

For the second time this season, Howe is set to face his former club at St James’ Park, after the two sides drew 1-1 in the Premier League in September.

This time, a place in the quarter-finals of the Cup is up for grabs, in Gary O’Neil’s first game since becoming the club’s permanent head coach.

Howe is set to make late calls on the fitness of Dan Burn, Joelinton and Miguel Almiron, while Allan Saint-Maximin picked up a knock in Saturday’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano.

Speaking of Saint-Maximin, Howe said: “I think there’s a slight injury – we’ll see today how he comes in.

“Obviously after a game things can be painful, but they can be sorted out quickly, so hopefully that will be the case.”

Newcastle also had five away players at the World Cup. Two of them – England duo Nick Pope and Kieran Trippier – played against Rayo Vallecano, while compatriot Callum Wilson, Swiss defender Fabian Schar and Bruno Guimaraes from Brazil were not involved. Howe, however, described the former Cherries Wilson striker’s physical condition as “good” but did not confirm whether he would be involved tomorrow.

Howe said: “I spoke with all the international guys when they came back, obviously. Kieran and Nick were very keen to play in the game (against Vallecano).

“These conversations are important because these boys not only had the physical load of being at the World Cup, but the mental side can’t be understated, so I’m going to continue these conversations with the other guys and we’ll see where we are.”

Discussing the importance of this game, ahead of the Premier League’s return next week, Howe added: “We tried to give this game the same importance as a Premier League game, and for us that’s the case, because it is a chance to progress in a very important competition for us.

“That’s how we approached the game.”

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