EDDIE HOWE admits Newcastle United are still adjusting to the demands of their European schedule after they were held to a 2-2 draw at Wolves on Saturday, and said he will need to be “careful” with his team selection for the midweek Carabao Cup tie away to Manchester United.

The Magpies are back in the Champions League for the first time in 20 years this season, and travelled to Molineux on the back of a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night.

There was disappointment in the west Midlands that they were twice pegged back by Wolves, with goals from Mario Lemina and Hwang Hee-chan cancelling out strikes by Callum Wilson, but Howe denied there were signs of fatigue in Newcastle’s performance and said the final phase of the game pleased him most.

“Certainly (the schedule) is something we’re going to have to get used to this season, and this is what we want on a regular basis, this is the pinnacle, so we’re not moaning about it,” Howe said.

“The only disappointment is we’ve got a lot of injuries to attacking players and it’s limited my options to change or freshen the players up but every player wants to play football and the lads will get a lot of football in the next few weeks.

“(The glass is) definitely half-full. We have to be really positive after the performance and effort given. Nobody can say we weren’t committed, we weren’t brave and we didn’t give everything to win the game so I’m very proud of the players.”


Alexander Isak and Jacob Murphy were both injured in the Dortmund defeat, joining fellow forward Harvey Barnes on the sidelines as Howe was forced to name a bench heavy on defenders.

With the Carabao Cup draw having thrown up a difficult trip to Old Trafford after Newcastle overcame Manchester City in the last round, Howe has some thinking to do, but would not call the game one he would do without.

“I’m reluctant to say that, that I’m not looking forward to the game and the game’s not a good one for us,” he said.

“We’re in a cup competition and we want to try to progress so I won’t say that. I think we’ve got to be very careful with the team selection, we’ve got to get that right because we’re very thin on the ground in certain areas.”

Another player unavailable is Sandro Tonali, who began his ten-month ban for betting offences on Saturday, and Howe said the situation had affected the whole group.

“I think he’s been emotional since this whole thing came to light,” Howe said of the Italy international.

“Not necessarily obviously, but underneath it’s been really tough for him, and it’s not just tough for Sandro, it’s tough for the group. They’ve seen a top player leave us now for ten months and they know they need help, they need bodies, and they need good players.”