Eddie Howe issues Newcastle United pre-season update

Eddie Howe's addressed the need for more goals – after his side drew a blank.

Newcastle United were beaten 1-0 by Mainz 05 yesterday in Austria. Howe’s side struggled to create chances in 28-degree heat at the Kufstein Arena, where Elliot Anderson impressed off the bench.

United's head coach said: "We always want creativity, whether it's the first day, last day or in the middle.

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"We want to score goals, create goals, that's how we want to play. In these conditions, it's so hot, and the pitch is slow, so when you're a team trying to make the game, that's not easy. But, saying that, we have very good players – and we should be doing a little bit better than today, I think.

"When you watch pre-season games back, you have to have a very critical eye, but also acknowledging where the lads are at. The most important thing is that we’re ready for the first game, not this game today.”

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Newcastle's squad returned to England last night, and they will head to Portugal later this later for a behind-closed-doors friendly against Burnley on Saturday and a fixture against Benfica at the Estadio da Luz on July 26.

"We're back to Newcastle for a couple of days, then we're out on Thursday – and we have two really good games in Portugal,” said Howe. “The players should complete 90 (minutes) in Portugal, which is a big step in pre-season.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.

"Once you have that first 90 minutes under your belt, then you're in a good place."