Newcastle head into Tuesday Champions League match with Borussia Dortmund in third place in Group F, level on four points with second-placed Dortmund who are ahead of Eddie Howe’s side after winning 1-0 on Tyneside a fortnight ago; Howe says Dan Burn is out long-term with a back injury
Eddie Howe shares his concern as Newcastle’s injury problems continue to grow with Dan Burn becoming the latest victim from the squad as he suffered a back issue
Eddie Howe says Newcastle travel to Borussia Dortmund in search of all three points in Champions League Group F despite confirming Dan Burn will be out long-term with a back injury.
Borussia Dortmund put in a brilliant performance at St James’ Park a fortnight ago, with Felix Nmecha’s goal giving them a 1-0 win.
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Victory against the Magpies lifted Dortmund into second place in the group, above Howe’s men – who also have four points from their first three fixtures – by virtue of their head-to-head record.
Newcastle head into Tuesday’s return fixture off the back of wins against Manchester United and Arsenal in their last two matches.
Howe had his say on the two big talking points of Newcastle’s win over Arsenal, including Kai Havertz’s challenge and Anthony Gordon’s controversial goal
Howe said: “It’s in-built in me, I think every game is a must-win, and the term is probably overused in football.
“But it’s the only way that we prepare. We prepare to win every game, we never have anything else in our minds and we will prepare to win this one.”
On the injury to Burn, which forced him to come off against Arsenal, Howe added: “Dan will be out for some time I think, a long-term problem, 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’s a huge blow.
“He’s been gigantic for us since he signed, for lots of different reasons as I have continually said. His character, his determination to win, his experience and his versatility as well.
“It’s not just one position we are losing, we are losing his ability to play centre-back as well. But it is something we have to roll with.”
Howe also confirmed Matt Targett, a possible replacement for Burn a left-back, is facing a potential three-month lay-off with a hamstring injury.
Image: Dortmund's Felix Nmecha celebrates after his goal vs Newcastle
Tuesday’s game at the Signal Iduna Stadium comes on the eve of Howe’s two-year anniversary as Newcastle manager.
Newcastle hadn’t won a game in any competition up until that point, but less than 24 months later they are now set for the fourth game in this season’s Champions League group stages.
“When we took over the vision was very short-term, it was, ‘can we stay in the Premier League?’ And we hadn’t won for some time, so it was getting that first win and building the confidence from there really,” Howe said.
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“Once it came, I think we have steadily improved, but to be at this point so soon after those moments is something we don’t take for granted.
“The whole feeling at the club gives us immense satsifaction. The working environment the players have got, the culture we have at the training ground is very strong. The relationships are really strong through the spine of the club, which I think is very important for a successful football club, it gives you the best opportunity.
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“Most importantly, I think the relationship with our supporters, and the players, and us, is really healthy and is in a good place. That combination is so strong for us at the moment.”
Terzic wary of Newcastle threat
Edin Terzic has warned Borussia Dortmund they will have to be even better than they were at St James’ Park if they are to complete a Champions League double over Newcastle.
They head into the return on home soil still smarting from Saturday’s 4-0 drubbing by arch-rivals Bayern Munich, and with head coach Terzic expecting a Magpies backlash.
He said: “We need to improve because we know that they [Newcastle] are not happy with the way that they performed at St James’ Park and they will want to do much better tomorrow [Tuesday], so if they are going to do it better, we have to do it better.
“That’s something we have focused on, this is something we’re going to talk about with the team this afternoon, again to be ready for tomorrow, and then we’ve got to do everything to also use the chance to get a home win and make a big step in the group.”
Highlights from the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich as Harry Kane scored a sensational hat-trick at Signal Iduna Park
Terzic, who has doubts over skipper Emre Can and defender Ramy Bensebaini, is acutely aware of the task facing his team, with Newcastle having edged past Arsenal 1-0 in a Premier League arm-wrestle on Saturday evening.
Asked if that served as a warning, he said: “To be honest, we don’t need a warning because of course we know the quality of Newcastle. We found out how good they are two weeks ago.
“Then they’ve had three games since, a draw against Wolves and in the cup they beat Manchester United and then they beat Arsenal at home, so we know their quality.
“We know they are not happy with the way they performed two weeks ago. They are not happy; we are not happy with how we performed last Saturday.
“We know that we have to be ready from the start and as you saw from the game two weeks ago, they had two great chances at the end of the game, so it means we need a good start, we need a good performance during the game, we need to stay focused until the end.”