Newcastle manager Eddie Howe (l) and coach Jason Tindall watch from the sidelines during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on December 19, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
The Magpies head coach looks set to see his leaky backline, which has conceded a league record 41 goals in 18 games so far, weakened further by the absence of Federico Fernandez and Jamal Lewis for the whole festive period.
Neither man took their place in the side beaten 4-0 against Manchester City, with Lewis limping out of last Thursday’s Anfield defeat.
Veteran Argentine Fernandez has not played since the 1-1 home draw with Norwich City.
What Eddie Howe had to say on the situation
“I think they are going to be longer term.
“Unfortunately I don’t think we are going to see them for quite some time.
“Jamal’s was a really strange one, really early in the Liverpool game.
“Fede looks like he will be out for about the same length of time.”
Who else is out?
United are currently without two other defenders heading into their next game against Manchester United on December 27.
Paul Dummett is still a little off full fitness, having missed the whole of the season to date, while Javier Manquillo’s absence with an illness meant Matt Ritchie and Jacob Murphy were forced to play as full-backs in a back four.
‘It was a big ask’
“We were hampered by that due to the injury to Jamal Lewis.
“And I think most of Matty and Murphs' careers have been played on the wing, not at full-back.
“It was a big ask for them.I thought they both played well in a difficult situation. It was far from ideal.
“We prepared this way and we get Manquillo's illness late. It is difficult to change things so late, so we went with what we'd worked on.”