Burn injury "a huge blow", says Howe ahead of Dortmund trip
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe revealed defender Dan Burn will be sidelined "for some time" ahead of the Magpies' UEFA Champions League clash away at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday evening (kick-off 5.45pm GMT).
Eddie Howe’s side travel to Germany in search of maximum points to maintain their qualification hopes for the last-16 of the star-studded tournament and face a Dortmund side who endured a heavy 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich last weekend, ending the club’s 26-game unbeaten streak at the Signal Iduna Park across all competitions.
The Magpies, who suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against the 1997 European Cup winners at St. James’ Park last month, will bid to move above their Group F opponents with a first away win in the prestigious competition since February 2003 but Howe revealed he will be without the services of Burn after the Blyth-born defender was withdrawn during Newcastle’s 1-0 triumph over Arsenal last weekend.
Howe, who celebrates two years since his appointment as Newcastle United head coach on Wednesday, believes his players have a “good idea of what to expect” ahead of the reverse fixture against the German heavyweights, who currently occupy fourth spot in the Bundesliga.
Here were some of the main talking points from the boss' pre-match media briefing at the Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday evening...
On Dan Burn’s injury status, with the verstaile defender withdrawn at half-time during the Magpies 1-0 win against Arsenal:
“Unfortunately, Dan will be out for some time. It’s another long-term problem - a couple of months is sort of a speculative number for us. He landed on his spine. I think he has got a problem with the base of his spine.
“It is a huge blow. He has been gigantic for us since he signed, for a lot of different reasons as I’ve continually said. His character, his determination, his experience and versatility so it is not just one position we are losing. It’s something we have to roll with.”
On Matt Targett, with the United left-back forced off in the opening minutes of Newcastle’s 3-0 away win against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup:
“I think he’s seeing a specialist tonight. We’ll get clearer information but it’s not going to be a short-term fix for Matt. He will definitely be out for around three months but that’s a rough estimate.
“It’ll be around that figure whether he has surgery or not."
On approaching two years since his appointment as Newcastle United manager:
“When we took over, the vision was very short-term and if we could stay in the Premier League. We hadn’t won for some time so it was about getting that first win and building the confidence from there. Once it came, I think we steadily improved but to be at this point so soon after those moments is something we don’t take for granted.
“I think the whole feeling (is) that the club gives us immense satisfaction. The working environment, the players and culture we have at the training ground is very strong. The relationships are really strong through the spine of the club which I feel, for a successful football club, gives you the best opportunity.
“Most importantly, I think the relationship with our supporters, the players and us is really healthy and it’s in a good place. That combination is so strong for us at the moment.”
On Tino Livramento, with the in-form right-back targeting a Champions League debut tomorrow evening:
“Tino is a very good player. He showed that coming into a difficult moment on Saturday. That game was evenly poised and the atmosphere was red hot.
“He was playing against a very good opponent and he has come on and done very well again. Kieran (Trippier) did really well as well having to switch his position so we will make decisions on team selection based on all the information we have.”
On facing Dortmund, who prevailed in a 1-0 victory against United at St. James’ Park last month:
“Looking back to the first game against Dortmund is a useful exercise but it’s not definitive because they may change the way they play and we may change the way we play.
“I think it was two evenly balanced teams going against each other - that game could have gone either way. Of course, we hit the woodwork a couple of times late on in the match.
"I think the players have a good idea of what to expect. They are a top team and they’ve got players who can hurt us so I think there’s full respect from us but, hopefully, we can get the fine margins on our side this time.”
On whether Anthony Gordon is deserving of a first senior international call-up for England, with the Three Lions’ squad for their upcoming 2024 European Championship qualifiers to be announced on Thursday:
“I’m sure he’ll be in the frame. Gareth (Southgate) has been at a few of our games and will have seen first-hand how well Anthony is doing.
“He’s competing with very good players in his position, that has to be noted, so let’s wait and see what Gareth does. There’s no better stage (away at Dortmund) for Anthony or for any player wanting to get into an international team.
“This is the stage that you want to perform on."