Frank Lampard slams Everton's fixture schedule after Newcastle United's relegation rivals suffer fresh blow

Frank Lampard has blasted the fixture schedule after losing a new signing to injury.

Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 10:04 am

Newcastle United's relegation rivals will be without a number of players for tonight’s hugely-important game away to Burnley.

Lampard lost January signing Nathan Patterson ahead of Sunday’s defeat at West Ham United – the defender needs surgery – and he will also be without injury pair Yerry Mina and Andros Townsend, while Allan and Michael Keane are suspended.

Everton, 17th in the Premier League and six points behind 15th-placed Newcastle, have been asked to play three games in seven days.

Everton manager Frank Lampard.

Lampard said: "I'll have to have a look at the whole big picture of the team, especially when we are playing this week with, I don't know how, but we have managed to be asked to play three games from Sunday to Wednesday evening to Saturday morning.

"It's an incredible schedule, really, when it could have easily been Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday, but not 12.30 kick-off.

"But we’ve got the short straw this week, so I have to take that into consideration in terms of fitness and freshness of the players as well."

Asked about injuries and suspension, Lampard added: "Where do you want to start? We have obviously got Michael Keane and Allan still out (through suspension). In terms of injuries, Nathan Patterson will be out for a certain period of time.”

Everton, last relegated in 1951, beat Newcastle 1-0 last month in what was the third away game in eight days for Eddie Howe’s side.

Allan is serving a three-game ban for his dismissal in the game, which was decided by a 99th-minute goal from Alex Iwobi.

Howe was unhappy at the rescheduling of the Everton and Southampton games, which were postponed over the festive period due to Covid-19 cases and injuries.

“Not ideal, no doubt about that,” said Howe. “We were, and I’ve got to choose my words carefully, surprised when we saw the fixture congestion that we had, especially with the amount of away games in a very short period of time.

"What can we do about it? Nothing. So we have to play the games, and we will play the games in the best way possible.”

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