Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe admits squad rotation possible as Magpies fight on two fronts

  • Eddie Howe discusses managing his squad through their Champions League commitments

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has admitted he will need to rotate his squad as the Magpies try to balance playing domestically and in Europe.

Newcastle claimed a point against AC Milan in their first Champions League fixture for 20 years but must now return focus to the Premier League, starting with Sheffield United on Sunday.

Ahead of the game, Howe recognised the emotional toll that Tuesday's clash at the San Siro had on his players and that changes would have to be made as he looks to manage his squad.

Newcastle United claimed a point on their return to the Champions League. Credit: PA

“We probably won’t train fully before Sunday," he explained. "We will be ‘training’ but not at our maximum. I don’t think anyone can measure emotionally what Milan took out of us.

“It’s our job to recover and make sure we are ready for another tough test. That’s what the Champions League and the exposure brings. The consistency of our performances is going to be a true testament to how well we do this season.

"We are going to have to rotate the squad. We don't want to make, if we can help it, wholesale changes to the team in any one game. I don't think that will do our rhythm any good.

"Tweaks as we're going along, hopefully then the team will be unaffected but we manage to keep everyone fresh."

Joelinton and Joe Willock remain out through injury. Credit: PA

Newcastle will be unable to call on the services of Joelinton and Joe Willock who remain out through injury. The rest of the squad are in good health ahead of the trip to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United.

The Blades have struggled since their promotion to the Premier League, claiming just one point in their opening five matches. However, Howe was stressed that they will cause the Magpies problems as he urged his players to approach the game in the right way.

"It will be a difficult game," he said. "They're a good team, a direct team that will ask us questions physically. They have lots of areas that can hurt us if we're not right.

"The big challenge for us is to approach the game like we did the Brentford match where we were spot on in our mindset."

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