Howe has made six changes for tonight’s home game against Manchester United – and only named eight substitutes, including two goalkeepers – after losing a number of players to positive test results and injuries.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Newcastle’s head coach said: "Difficult in the preparation. We have a mixture of injuries and Covid cases.
"The squad is stretched. But we’re making the best of the situation. We want to play. We have had an eight-day gap, so I’m looking for energy and intensity in our play. We should have no excuses in delivering a physical performance.”
Howe added: “We’re looking for every game to be transformative. We’re capable. We've seen in the last two games we have competed against two really difficult opponents. Performances have been really good. Today, we need to put it all together – and produce the complete performance.”