‘We’re short on numbers but feel high on quality’: Eddie Howe defends his team selection after Newcastle were beaten in FA Cup by Sheffield Wednesday but admits his team weren’t ‘clinical enough’
Eddie Howe has defended his team selection and says Newcastle’s completion cost them dearly against Sheffield Wednesday, but admits his squad don’t go as far as he’d like.
The Magpies were also beaten at the third round stage by League One opposition last season. That didn’t stop Howe from making eight changes at Hillsborough and his side duly losing 2-1.
“We were desperate to win the game and I picked a team that I thought was strong enough to do it,” the Newcastle boss said.
Newcastle were beaten 2-1 by Sheffield Wednesday in their FA Cup third round tie
Eddie Howe stood by his decision to make eight changes as his side are ‘light on numbers’
We are aware that we do not have the deepest template. We are light on numbers but feel high on quality. We gave a chance to some players who haven’t had a lot of playing time this season, and I thought there were positives and negatives to their performance.
‘We are bitterly disappointed to be leaving. We created enough chances to win the tie and their goalkeeper made a number of great saves, but we weren’t clinical enough.”
Newcastle were without Allan Saint-Maximin, who withdrew on the eve of the match due to illness, but Howe gave a start to striker Alexander Isak, who played 45 minutes on his return from a four-month thigh break.
Alexander Isak returned from injury for the match and managed to play 45 minutes
Howe said: ‘We have a very small team and we have to protect them for the next few games. The Leicester game (Carabao Cup quarter-final on Tuesday) was on the horizon and we chose a team based on this game in mind.
‘If that game hadn’t been there, the team selection might have been different. We are trying to juggle everything.
“We haven’t suffered many defeats this season and it’s very painful, you don’t want to lose any game. We were determined to do well in this competition, but we didn’t, and there are always things to learn.’