Eddie Howe has explained why he made eight changes to his Newcastle United starting XI at Sheffield Wednesday.
The Magpies suffered a shock FA Cup third round exit for the second season running after losing 2-1 at Hillsborough.
Sven Botman, Sean Longstaff and Joelinton were the only remainers from the goalless draw at Arsenal as Martin Dubravka, Javier Manquillo, Jamaal Lascelles, Jamal Lewis, Elliot Anderson, Jacob Murphy, Matt Ritchie and Alexander Isak came into the starting XI.
United were without Allan Saint-Maximin through illness, while Callum Wilson, Nick Pope and Fabian Schar were left at home. Kieran Trippier, Bruno Guimaraes, Miguel Almiron and Joe Willock were introduced as second-half substitutes.
“We were desperate to win the game,” Howe said. “I picked a team I thought was strong enough to do that at the start of the match.
“I thought the moments and chances were there for us first-half to take the lead, we just weren’t clinical in front of goal and that remained the same for the majority of the second half as well.”
Asked if he picked the team with Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final clash against Leicester City in mind, Howe said: “You pick it looking ahead of future games, of course. We have a very quick turnaround for Leicester.
“I felt I saw some fatigue in the Arsenal performance, the lads gave everything. I thought it’d be unwise of me to pick the same team for this game and Leicester as well.
“I’m not sure the lads were physically able to give their best. If I did that, hence the changes.”
Josh Windass scored twice for Sheffield Wednesday in the second half before Guimaraes pulled a goal back with over 20 minutes remaining.
United, however, were unable to find an equaliser to force the tie to a replay at St James’ Park.
“I thought we gave it our all today, right to the end,” Howe said. “We created a number of chances to score and didn’t take them, their goalkeeper played very well.
“I was always going to be a very difficult game, we knew that coming here. We needed to get our noses in front and didn’t. That made it very difficult.”