Eddie Howe explains surprise Newcastle United changes

Eddie Howe has explained his team selection changes against Norwich City.

Howe made four changes for this afternoon’s 3-0 win at Carrow Road.

The result saw the club move up to ninth in the Premier League with four games left to play.

Jamaal Lascelles, Jacob Murphy, Joe Willock and Sean Longstaff came into Eddie Howe’s starting XI. Miguel Almiron – who had scored in midweek – dropped down to the bench along with Fabian Schar, Jonjo Shelvey and Chris Wood.

Joelinton – who started the game as a striker – netted twice after being moved to the left, and Bruno Guimaraes also found the net in the game, which followed home successes over Crystal Palace and Leicester City in the previous six days.

Asked to explain the changes, head coach Howe said: "Three games in six days. Norwich had a free week so we couldn't come here lethargic, tired or mentally fatigued after the week we had – two tough home games where we had long spells without the ball.

"We needed fresh bodies, one or two players had a few niggles as well, so we didn't want to risk them.

"I was really pleased with the guys that came in. I thought they did refresh the team, and thought we looked very good physically today for certain points in the game.

Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Ritchie, Emil Krafth and Sean Longstaff celebrate the club's win at Carrow Road.

"Also, I think it's healthy for the group to do that as well. It shows we do have a capable squad, and that I've got options to choose from, plus competition for places as well, which is absolutely vital.”