Newcastle United issue injury and illness update on Joelinton, Joe Willock and Jonjo Shelvey ahead of Everton game

Eddie Howe was forced into a “complete tactical reshuffle” on the eve of Newcastle United’s visit to Stamford Bridge.

Monday, 14th March 2022, 6:00 am

Howe’s side were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea yesterday. An 89th-minute goal from Kai Havertez – who was booked for a first-half elbow on visiting defender Dan Burn – ended the club’s nine-game unbeaten run.

"Overall, it was a very good defensive performance, very strong tactically,” said United’s head coach.

“The players were resilient to not give away too many chances, and I can't speak highly enough about our defensive display.”

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Howe had lost Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Willock to illness on Saturday night, and Joelinton – who had missed Thursday night’s 2-1 win over Southampton with a groin problem – hadn’t been able to complete a training session earlier in the day.

Howe made four changes – Sean Longstaff, Javier Manquillo, Jamaal Lascelles and Miguel Almiron came into the starting XI – after Joelinton, Joe Willock and Shelvey were ruled out.

The loss of three midfielders also forced Howe to switch formation, and he used a five-man defence for the first time since November.

“Joe was close this game, but didn’t quite make it,” said Howe. “He started to train us with (on Saturday), but couldn’t complete the session, and then we lost Jonjo and Joe Willock very late (on Saturday night) due to illness, so that meant a complete tactical reshuffle this morning.

Joelinton.

“We only had two central midfielders (Bruno Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff) to pick from through the whole squad. It obviously meant a very late reshuffle, but you wouldn’t know if from the performance, and that’s the biggest credit I can give the players.

“They really committed to what we asked them to do, and, tactically, we were very good.”

Newcastle, 14th in the Premier League table and nine points above the relegation, take on Everton at Goodison Park on Thursday night.

Frank Lampard’s side are level with 18th-placed Burnley after losing 1-0 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“We have 12 games to go now, so we can’t get stuck in the rut of looking at this game alone,” said Lampard. “We lost against a good team in a tight match with 10 men for the last period when you really want to push.”

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