Howe admits Newcastle injury problems partly down to 'mistakes'

Eddie Howe: Has been without 11 first-team players at some points this season

Eddie Howe: Has been without 11 first-team players at some points this season

NEWCASTLE UNITED manager Eddie Howe has admitted the club “have to improve” in terms of medical and performance provision after a season severely impacted by injuries.

At some points the club have had 11 first-team players sidelined and Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon, Joelinton and Joe Willock are out injured for this evening’s Premier League game at Nottingham Forest.

“We have to improve what we deliver for the players,” Howe said. “Of course, when you have the number of injuries we have had, some of those have come from too much load or maybe our programmes are not good enough in the gym.

“We’re reviewing every one we get, and trying to find a reason why. Some are freaks but there are some, usually muscle pulls, where you’re going, ‘Is there a way we could have avoided that?’”

“Football never stands still. Demands are only going up physically. The Premier League is a lot quicker league than it was last year. The physical demands are greater. So your strategies and how you treat the players behind the scenes have to improve.

“It’s not just the number of injuries we’ve had but the length of time those players have been out for. We went into this season with a squad built to cope with all the demands we’d face and the competitions we’ve played in but, certainly, we’ve made mistakes. Certainly we could do things better.

“You can handle one or two [long-term injuries] but it has been three or four months for five, six, seven, eight players. There has been no light at the end of the tunnel and then your squad is stretched and you get more injuries. It’s been one of those seasons when you feel everything has gone against us.

“The players do a lot of work. They don’t just go out on the training pitch; they do a lot of gym work, a lot of different things. If we are sitting here going, ‘We have not made any mistakes,’ I think we are being fools. So, of course, we analyse everything. When I say we, I include everyone at the football club. It’s not about one individual or department. We are all in it together and, of course, we have to respond.”

As TGG revealed last week, Newcastle have appointed a new Senior Physiotherapist - Leicester City’s Jonny King, who worked with Howe at Bournemouth. He replaced Danny Murphy, who has left the club after 15 months.

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