Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe's view on changes for Carabao Cup semi-final against Southampton

Eddie Howe’s assessing his players ahead of Newcastle United’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Southampton – as Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin push for starts.

The club moved up to third in the Premier League yesterday after drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace for the third time this season.

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Howe named a largely-unchanged team during the tough Christmas and New Year period, and United’s head coach – who brought Isak and Saint-Maximin off the bench – felt that his players were in a “good place at Selhurst Park.

Asked if he would make changes for the cup, Howe said: “For every game, I’ll try to make the best decision based on all the knowledge I have – and my feeling as well. I didn’t necessarily see a tired team today – I saw a team that I thought was in a good place.

"Results obviously always change opinions, moods and feelings, but I was very pleased with the majority of what I saw. We tried to bring positive subs onto the pitch to try to win the game, it just didn’t happen today.”

Newcastle, now 15 games unbeaten in the league, had the better of the game against Palace.

Howe said: “Never underestimate how difficult this game is in the season, playing here, with the crowd and the environment, it’s not easy.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe applauds fans at Selhurst Park.

"We knew this was going to be a really tough game. That’s never lost on me, especially with my experiences here. We’re pleased to keep the unbeaten run going, but disappointed we couldn’t win.”

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Newcastle take on Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium in the first leg of their semi-final on Tuesday night.