Newcastle United star’s broken foot confirmed as true extent of Eddie Howe injury crisis revealed

Eddie Howe has faced an unprecedented injury crisis at Newcastle United this seasonEddie Howe has faced an unprecedented injury crisis at Newcastle United this season
Eddie Howe has faced an unprecedented injury crisis at Newcastle United this season | AFP via Getty Images

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Sean Longstaff has come under fire for poor Newcastle United performances in recent weeks

Sean Longstaff has revealed he broke his foot against Everton last season and is yet to return to full fitness.

What first appeared to be a knock in last year’s 4-1 hiding at Goodison Park ruled the midfielder out for four games. He returned for the final home game of the season with Leicester City - a 0-0 draw that resulted in Newcastle United qualifying for the Champions League.

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However, the injury sustained on Merseyside had not fully recovered and remained painful throughout the summer. Longstaff has opened up about the setback continuing to bother him but how he fights on for the Newcastle cause amid the ongoing injury crisis.

“We played at Everton last April and I basically broke my foot,” he told The Athletic. “I played in the last home game of the season when it was still pretty much broken and, because of that, it didn’t heal properly.

“We came back for pre-season and we brought Sandro in. It’s like, ‘Well, you don’t want to lose your spot in the team’. I did lose it because I wasn’t fully fit and then went through a spell where it got better.

“I got back into the team and thought I was playing really well. Then I got injured again at Bournemouth in November. It was a 10-week ankle injury and I came back in four. It’s hard enough playing with one bad foot but, when you’ve got a sore left foot and a right ankle that doesn’t move properly, it’s never going to be the easiest, especially at this level.

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“It is what it is. I’ll always put the team ahead of myself and people will either see that and appreciate it or they won’t.”

Longstaff admitted that injury setbacks during games have “sucker punched” the players. The 26-year-old also admitted that Eddie Howe’s style is difficult to execute when carrying a niggle.

“When you look around our meeting room and everyone’s there, you think, ‘Yeah, we’ll win tomorrow’,” Longstaff added. “Then there’s times you walk in and there’s six, seven empty seats. It can be tough.

“We go ahead in games, someone gets injured and it’s like a sucker punch, then someone comes on and gets injured and it feels like a never-ending cycle. Ultimately, we’re a team. Our greatest strength is in each other, how we can chop and change and the performance levels never drop - and this just takes the life out of us.

“The way we play is so front-foot and aggressive but it’s hard to do it every game in those circumstances, especially if you’re not feeling 100 per cent. That makes it worse.”

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