Eddie Howe explains Newcastle United squad decision

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Eddie Howe never wants to leave anyone behind.

And when it came to naming his Newcastle United squad for the winter training camp in Saudi Arabia, Howe was always going to take Emil Krafth, who was left out of the club’s 25-man Premier League squad and may not play again this season.

Read More
Newcastle United issue Saudi Arabia training camp update as Alexander Isak joins...

Krafth ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in a Carabao Cup tie against Tranmere Rovers in August – and the 28-year-old is months away from a return to training.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, Howe – who is preparing his players for Thursday’s friendly against Al Hilal in Riyadh – felt it was important that Krafth travelled with the squad.

"We think it's really important that when we do take the team away, we try and take as many people as we can and that includes staff and players,” said United’s head coach.

"Emil, yes, is going to be injured for the majority of the season, if not all of it, but we still feel it is important for his mental health and well-being that he's with us.

"He's feel part of the group, I'd say our medical team are very good at that It's been great to see him, he's been close to the pitch, the gym is situated right next to it. You feel that little bit closer and a little bit more part of things. Emil, being the top professional he is, he's working very hard on his rehab."

Meanwhile, winger Matt Ritchie is close to a return from the calf injury which has sidelined him since September.

“We expect him to train, hopefully, in the next couple of days,” said Howe.