Federico Fernandez injury blow for Newcastle

Newcastle defender Federico Fernandez has been ruled out for most of the holiday season with a thigh injury.

Fernandez was an unused replacement in the Magpies’ 4-0 loss to Leicester on Sunday, but has since suffered a problem that could see him miss a hectic period, starting with Thursday’s trip to Liverpool.

Newcastle will also face Manchester City, Manchester United, Everton and Southampton in a series of games that could have a big impact on their chances of survival.

“We lost Federico Fernandez to injury,” said boss Eddie Howe. “We don’t know the extent of that injury yet, but he’s sure to miss this game and probably the majority of games over the holiday season.

“Paul Dummett is still out long term, although he is making good progress and we hope to get him back soon. He is not training with the squad yet.

The Magpies are at least not affected by Covid-19, pending the results of a series of tests on Wednesday morning.

The Premier League has seen two games canceled in the past week as Tottenham and Manchester United suffered outbreaks, while Brentford, Leicester and Norwich have all reported cases.

Eddie Howe is preparing his squad for back-to-back matches against Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United (Richard Sellers / PA)

“We’ve all been tested today, knock on wood, we’re all going to be fine,” Howe added.

“At the moment we are following all the procedures and protocols given to us by the Premier League and we are happy with the way we have handled the situations.

“We have followed all the guidelines given to us, the testing protocols are changing on Monday so it’s going to be very tight in terms of the number of tests players and staff do, it’s going to really escalate and rightly so because that we want to make sure everyone’s health comes first.

“At the moment we are good, we hope it will stay that way. “

Following the Newcastle buyout earlier this season, there are expected to be some immediate spending in the upcoming January transfer window amid ties with Kieran Trippier and Dele Alli.

Howe would like “one or two” additions, but doesn’t expect it to be straightforward.

“I can’t make any promises to you. At the moment, like I said before, the people above me are planning to work on this, I am focusing on the team, there are a lot of games to come, ”he said. .

“We’ll wait and see, January is notoriously difficult to predict and to have a clear plan. There are a lot of twists and turns.

“I believe in the players, I said from day one and nothing I saw made me change my mind.

Liverpool v Newcastle United - Premier League - Anfield
Newcastle drew 1-1 at Anfield last season (Clive Brunskill / PA)

“We have to improve, we have a lot of work to do but I think there is a lot of talent in the squad. We have areas that we are really focusing on and trying to get the best out of the players. really believe in the players we have.

“In January there may be one or two players who can really help the team, but I don’t think that should be our main focus, our main focus has to be to make the most of the players who are already there. “

Howe admitted, however, that any potential arrivals could be affected by the vaccination status of their targets.

“It’s something we’re going to consider,” Howe said. “Vaccination status is something we take very seriously, we are in dialogue with all (our) players, making sure to educate them and follow the same guidelines.”

The Magpies enter a series of intimidating games as the visit to Anfield is followed by back-to-back home games against Manchester City and then United on December 27.

“I would describe it as a great opportunity to play against the best teams in the country, to see where we are at, to see how far we can impose ourselves and I think that’s the way to look at it,” said Howe.

“These are great opportunities, Anfield in a night game, it will be a good atmosphere, but we have to bring our A-game, we need every player to perform above their level to have a chance to get a positive result. “

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