In the wake of their 1-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League at St James’ Park on Wednesday, Newcastle saw two of their players, Murphy and Isak, being forced to exit the game prematurely. Eddie Howe, Newcastle’s head coach, clarified in the post-match discussion that Murphy sustained a dislocated shoulder and Isak is dealing with a groin injury.
The young midfielder Elliot Anderson, aged 20, was conspicuously absent from the squad for the game against Dortmund. Howe revealed that Anderson is grappling with a back issue, stating, “Yeah, it looks like he’s got a back problem so he’s probably going to be missing a few weeks.”
This back injury is set to sideline Anderson for several crucial upcoming games, including fixtures against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United, Arsenal, AFC Bournemouth, and the second leg against Dortmund. In addition to concerns over Isak and Murphy, with Harvey Barnes and Sven Botman also ruled out, Newcastle finds themselves in a precarious position as they face a challenging series of matches.
The Magpies’ head coach acknowledged the strain on the squad, saying, “It is [looking really stretched].” Howe elaborated on the unexpected nature of the injuries to Murphy and Anderson, emphasizing the need to adapt and move forward without dwelling too much on the setbacks. He urged unity and focus as they prepare for a crucial game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, maintaining confidence in the team’s standing in both the Champions League and the Premier League.
In Wednesday’s match, Joe Willock made a return after a five-month injury hiatus, though his late-game appearance was not initially in Howe’s plans. “The injuries forced [Willock on],” explained Howe, pointing out that the early substitution of Alex necessitated strategic changes and game load management, particularly for players like Joelinton who were just returning from injury.
Sandro Tonali will not be available either, as he is facing a ban from football that lasts 10 months.