Four Newcastle United players ruled out of Nottingham Forest clash - another one ‘doubtful’

Newcastle United team news ahead of Friday night’s Premier League clash against Nottingham Forest.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Eddie Howe admits some of his Newcastle United players are carrying knocks ahead of Friday night’s clash at Nottingham Forest - but expects the majority of his squad to be available for selection.

The Magpies ended a run of six games without a win last weekend by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’ Park. Hwang Hee-chan cancelled out Alexander Isak’s first-half opener but Miguel Almiron found a winner with 11 minutes remaining.

A victory for United at the City Ground will give their Champions League qualification hopes a big boost and put the pressure on fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur heading into the two-week international.

Newcastle United forward Anthony Gordon.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)Newcastle United forward Anthony Gordon.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Newcastle United forward Anthony Gordon. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Anthony Gordon (ankle) and Emil Krafth (ACL) are ruled out through injury, Joelinton serves the second of his two-match suspension and Ryan Fraser is still training with the under-21s.

January signing Harrison Ashby returned to training this week after a minor hamstring injury, but is unlikely to be involved against Forest.

“We have a couple of knocks,” Howe revealed. “It was an intense game last week. We’ve been managing and nursing a few players. We’ll wait and see who’s fit. Nothing major, hopefully, it’s just a case of a few players missing training this week. We hope to have the majority of players available.

“We are desperate for another win. You are desperate every week, that does not change for me. But yes, the mood in the changing room had been lifted for the win. There is no denying that. It would be the same for every training ground up and down the country.

“We had gone a few weeks without that feeling and wanted to return to our best. I felt we did. It was not the perfect performance but there was a lot of good in it and hopefully we can build on it.”

Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak celebrates his goal last weekend.Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak celebrates his goal last weekend.
Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak celebrates his goal last weekend.

The Magpies’ head coach could stick with the starting XI he named against Wolves that featured five changes, including the change front three of Alexander Isak, Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak.

"The lads that came in did really well - (they) gave a really good account of themselves,” said Howe. “I’ve always said competition for places is key to sustaining consistent results. I think we have that within the squad when everyone’s fit (but when) we don’t have everyone in that position the squad is quite light in terms of bodies, but hopefully we’ve got enough."

An unchanged line-up would see the likes of Almiron and Callum Wilson occupy a place on the bench for the second consecutive week.

Howe said: "I think it’s vital that you have the opportunity to do that [rotate] from time to time. It’s a long season with cups and Premier League etc, and also the way that we play is demanding, as I’ve said before.

“We ask a lot of our players physically, so it’s nice to be able to pull someone back, give them a chance to reset and then bring them back into the team.

“Everyone will have their own opinions, of course, on the team, and when you bring a player out for their own physical needs, sometimes that can be over-hyped. But for me, it’s just a natural process of the season."

Get the latest Newcastle United headlines with our free football newsletter! Follow the action from St James’ Park and beyond as we bring the sport news to you. Visit our website here to sign up.

Related topics: