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'A huge lift' - Tindall on Howe's return to the dugout

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Jason Tindall feels Newcastle’s players will be buoyed by Eddie Howe’s imminent return to the dugout as the Magpies gear up for Saturday’s Premier League clash at Arsenal.

United’s new head coach had to sit out last week’s visit of Brentford – the game that was meant to be his first in charge – after testing positive for Covid-19. However, having returned a negative test on Friday morning, the 43-year-old will be able to lead from the front at the Emirates Stadium.

The news will come as a timely boost for everyone at the club’s Benton HQ, with the Magpies having dropped to the foot of the Premier League table a week ago despite hitting back to claim a share of the spoils against the Bees.

While he hasn’t been there in the flesh, Tindall revealed that Howe has still had a major part to play in overseeing United’s training sessions across the week, making a point of checking in with his coaching team as many as half a dozen times every day.

“On the training ground, the lads have worked extremely hard. In terms of communication with the manager, we’ve been in constant dialogue with Eddie – four, five or six times a day, before training, after training and in the evenings, preparing for the following day,” Tindall said. “We know Covid affects people differently, but there’s been a big change in how he’s been feeling as the week’s progressed.

“He sees training back every day. We video it every day from multiple angles. That will then be sent to him in the afternoon, he’ll review it back – as we do as coaches, as well – go through it, analyse the detail within that session and then feed back what’s necessary to the players the following day. We know Eddie’s a very hands-on manager and he’s had that influence throughout the week in terms of the preparation for Arsenal.

“Every team wants their manager, their leader, on the sideline. It’s the person they look to for guidance, for instruction and for comfort. I think it’s really important for the football club that Eddie is there, and for the players to see the manager there will be a huge lift for them – no doubt.”

While Newcastle have scored more goals than three clubs currently occupying European places in the Premier League – including the Gunners – they remain without a win this season and have conceded 27 times – a stat matched only by Norwich City, who they play on Tuesday.

For everybody of a Magpies persuasion, then, it’s “balance” that serves as the key word.

“We work on different aspects of our game on the training ground. What we don’t want to do is prioritise defending and fully focus on that and then lose sight of our attacking play,” Tindall said. “We know we have to be better as a team defensively – we know that – but when we arrived here we knew we also had to be better from an attacking perspective as a team. It’s all about getting that balance right, about doing the work on the training ground. Some things are going to take a little bit longer than others. There’s no short-term fix in football but what you can do is work extremely hard every single day to try and become the best you can be.”

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