Eddie Howe issues Newcastle United pre-season update

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

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.

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