EDDIE HOWE insists Kieran Trippier remains completely committed to Newcastle United, but concedes the full-back might be unable to feature in tomorrow night’s home game with Everton.

Trippier has been sidelined since suffering a calf injury in the home win over Wolves at the start of last month, and while it was hoped he would be passed fit to return to action after the international break, he was no involved in the squad for Saturday’s 4-3 win over West Ham.

With the start of the European Championships now just two-and-a-half months away, the England right-back will inevitably have half an eye on ensuring he is in peak form for the summer, but Southgate is adamant international considerations are not affecting the defender’s availability for Newcastle.

However, while weekend injuries to Tino Livramento and Jamaal Lascelles mean the Magpies are extremely short of defensive options for the game against Everton, Howe admits there is no guarantee Trippier will be available to line up on the right of the back four.

“Kieran is improving,” said Howe, whose side climbed back to within a point of the top seven when they won at the weekend. “It’s a difficult injury for him, an injury to the calf, one we have to be very careful with and we'd hoped he'd be fit in and around (the West Ham) game but we'll have to wait and see how he goes.


“He's desperate to be involved, he knows what's at stake for us towards the end of the season and his qualities are obvious. We're desperate to have him back, but it has to be at the right time.”

To compound Newcastle’s lack of defensive options, Matt Targett was not involved in Saturday’s game because of an Achilles issue and is also a doubt for tomorrow’s meeting with an Everton side that are expected to learn whether or not they have suffered a second points deduction for breaking the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules later this week.

“It’s not a big problem,” said Howe. “He’s (Targett) got a little bit of tendonitis in his Achilles. We envisage he should be back very soon.”

Tomorrow’s back four is likely to see Dan Burn partnering Fabian Schar at centre-half, with Emil Krafth starting at right-back and Lewis Hall lining up on the left of the back four.

Hall made a hugely-positive impression when he left the bench for the final stages of Saturday’s victory, and will belatedly make only his second Premier League start for Newcastle if he lines up tomorrow.

“It was huge for him (coming on against West Ham), and it's huge for us because he's done an incredible amount of work behind the scenes to work on various aspects of his game as we would with any young player,” said Howe.

“He came on and made a real difference, and I thought he came on against Manchester City and did really well. That's his part of the bargain, when he plays, he has to do well enough to try and stay in, so he's given me a lot of food for thought.”