Eddie Howe drops Newcastle United injury hint as he reflects on loss of Bruno Guimaraes, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson

Eddie Howe’s given his Newcastle United players a breather ahead of the club’s visit to the London Stadium.

After a “relentless” run of games, which has taken a toll on his squad, Howe has a free week to prepare for Sunday’s game against West Ham United.

And Howe – who was again without Bruno Guimaraes, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson against Crystal Palace on Saturday – hopes to take full advantage.

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Guimaraes, Saint-Maximin and Wilson have all been sidelined with hamstring problems. Howe said last week that Guimaraes and Saint-Maximin were “close” to being available, and the club’s head coach has hinted that they could be back for the West Ham fixture.

Wilson, according to Howe, is “slightly behind” them.

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“We probably need that little break, hopefully to welcome a couple of players back,” said Howe, who lost Jonjo Shelvey to a hamstring problem in pre-season. “There’s obviously no guarantee with that, because we’ve got training to do, but we’ve missed the individuals concerned.

"Bruno, Callum, Maxi, Jonjo, they’re massive players for us, and we’d love to get a couple back soon.”

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.

The Palace game ended goalless after referee Michael Salisbury wrongly disallowed a Tyrick Mitchell own goal for a foul following a pitchside VAR check. The incident followed a controversial 98th-minute winner for Liverpool’s Fabio Carvalho at Anfield last Wednesday night.

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Howe, however, doesn’t believe he will need to “pick up” his players ahead of the West Ham game.

“I don’t think I’ll have to pick them up from today,” said Howe. “We’ll have a period of rest initially, let the players have some time away from the training ground where we’ve been.

"It’s been relentless in the last period, so they’ll have a little bit of time to reflect on their own, then we’ll start again early next week and prepare for West Ham.

"I don’t sense that I need to pick the group up – I think it’s back to work.

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"In terms of picking them up after Liverpool, yeah, we had to do certain things just to get the group refocused on this game. I was very pleased with the product (against Palace).”