'Caught up' - Newcastle United legend expresses Magpies worry as 'deserved' claim made over Bournemouth loss

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Some Newcastle United players are enjoying a well earned break during the international break - and it's come at the right time for the Magpies.

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has admitted his former club 'need a lift' after they signed off for the international break with a defeat at Bournemouth.

The Magpies finally bucked under the pressure of a lengthy list of absentees and the demands of a hectic schedule as they became only the second side to lose to the Cherries in the Premier League so far this season.

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Eddie Howe was without a whole host of key players as the likes of Sven Botman, Bruno Guimaraes, Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson all missed the trip to the south coast and there was a further blow when winger Miguel Almiron suffered a thigh injury during the first-half at the Vitality Stadium.

The international break has come at the right time for Howe and his players and there are high hopes a number of absentees could return in December as the Magpies boss prepares his squad for the crucial festive period.

Qualifying for the Champions League has placed an extra strain on the United ranks but Howe's men have still impressed as they sit in the top seven of the Premier League table and have reached the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup for the second consecutive season.

Shearer praised the Magpies for 'giving it a good go' against a backdrop of a severe injury crisis - but admitted it will be a big ask if they are to secure a second consecutive season in the Champions League.

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He told BBC Sport: "Newcastle need a lift. Saturday’s defeat at Bournemouth was their first in the league since 2 September but it looked a game too far for them, and they were not anywhere near their best.

"Eddie Howe’s side have got a lot of injuries and suspensions to contend with but they did not deserve anything against the Cherries, who were the better team from start to finish. Newcastle looked really flat and very tired, and they probably need the international break more than anyone in terms of resting some players and getting others back to fitness.

"It was always going to be a big ask for them to cope with Champions League football and challenge for the top four again. They are still giving it a good go, and have reached the Carabao Cup quarter-finals too, but at the moment it looks like fighting on three fronts has caught up with them."

The Magpies will return to Premier League action when they host Chelsea on the final Saturday of November.

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