Eddie Howe admits he is ‘delighted’ to play his £94m of new signings against Southampton – after Ralph Hasenhuttl claimed playing them would hit Premier League’s ‘integrity’ because they had not joined when January 2 fixture was postponed due to Covid
- Newcastle’s January fixture against Southampton was postponed due to Covid
- The game will take place on Thursday night and Newcastle have strengthened
- Ralph Hasenhuttl was not impressed and says Magpies’ new boys shouldn’t play
- However, Eddie Howe has insisted he is ‘delighted’ to field his recent signings
- £35million star addition Bruno Guimaraes could make his first start at St Mary’s
Eddie Howe says he will be ‘delighted’ to play his new signings at Southampton on Thursday, despite opposite number Ralph Hasenhuttl claiming they should not be allowed to feature.
The original fixture was postponed on January 2 when Newcastle cited the effects of Covid-19 on their squad.
Hasenhuttl was not impressed, and said: ‘I was disappointed we couldn’t play, because we have been in good shape.
‘I don’t think it is really fair for them (new signings) to play in games that have been postponed. We should think about it because of the integrity of the league.’
Eddie Howe has revealed he is ‘delighted’ to be able to field his new signings at Southampton – Bruno Guimaraes, the £35million signing from Lyon, may be handed his first Magpies start
But Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted the integrity of the league would be hit if the new buys featured
How the Magpies side would have looked then… and the very different team who could line up now!
Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Lascelles, Manquillo; Longstaff, Shelvey, Joelinton; Almiron, Gayle, Murphy
Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett; Willock, Bruno, Joelinton; Fraser, Wood, Saint-Maximin
Newcastle subsequently spent £94million on five new players and have not lost since. It was put to Howe on Wednesday that Hasenhuttl’s stance was ‘ridiculous’, and he said: ‘Obviously somebody thinks so, because we are allowed to (play them).
‘We are just following the protocols that we have been set and we’re delighted to play our new players. They have done very well for us and made a difference.
‘It was unfortunate the game was called off, we wanted to play it. But in terms of the signings, I think the rules are the same for everybody.’
Howe is considering a first start for £35m Brazil midfielder Bruno Guimaraes at St Mary’s, while new boys Dan Burn, Matt Targett and Chris Wood are also set to play.
Bruno could come in for Jonjo Shelvey, who issued an apology for his performance following Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brighton.
Howe did not feel that was necessary, and said: ‘It’s a strange one. Jonjo sets very high standards for himself, and I think he’s maybe been a little harsh on himself.
Chris Wood, another new boy, is also set to feature in another blow to Hasenhuttl’s appeals
‘If an individual feels the need to do it then I’m not going to stop them, because that would be imposing my will on them.
‘I don’t think they necessarily need to do it. I don’t think they need to feel that expectation. Their first accountability is to themselves and then to their team-mates, to me and the coaching team.
‘My own opinion is you’re probably better off keeping it internal. But if you feel the need to express that, then I’m not in a position to stop that and I wouldn’t want to.
Howe did not feel Jonjo Shelvey’s apology after his showing against Brighton was necessary
‘Dealing with things internally is where I would have been as a player myself. But times have changed, and you have to move with the times.’
Howe joked that he would often apologise for his own performances as a player, adding: ‘I did internally, lots of times! It was a different era.
‘When I was playing, you didn’t want to step out and admit blame, because there was quite a bit of blame being chucked around. You’re trying to avoid it!’