Eddie Howe's honest Kieran Trippier injury verdict as Newcastle star defended after Rooney blast

Eddie Howe admits the decision to start Kieran Trippier against Manchester United was taken out of his hands due to an injury to fellow right-back Tino Livramento.

The Newcastle vice-skipper made his return from the outset at Old Trafford, despite the fact he is still not fully fit following a calf problem. Howe will have no doubt wanted the luxury of benching Trippier once again but, like so many occasions this season, the Magpies chief was forced into starting a player knowing they weren't at their physical best.

"It was dictated to us by Tino's injury," Howe said at full-time. "Tino picked up an injury on Saturday to his ankle so Kieran had to play when he's had limited training time.

“Like a number of players for us this season, he's put himself forward for the group and I think he's played well but he was fatiguing in that moment so we had to take him off.”

READ MORE: Anthony Gordon's brutal VAR rant and injury update after 'hobbling' into Newcastle interview

READ MORE: Tino Livramento absence explained as Newcastle United star sees season curtailed early

Trippier will be hoping to end the season on a high this weekend ahead of Euro 2024 but didn't enjoy a vintage performance at Old Trafford before being withdrawn through fatigue midway through the second-half.

The former Tottenham ace played Manchester United's Kobbie Mainoo onside for the first goal of the game, causing Sky Sports pundit Wayne Rooney to take aim during his post-match analysis.

“I think we were quick enough to have a go at Casemiro for the goal against Arsenal but look at Trippier,” the former striker said. “He’s a defender, a full back, that is shocking. He has got to see Mainoo and protect your goal. I don’t know what he’s doing.”

However, Howe was in no mood to criticise individual players or point the finger, instead lamenting the fact his side had conceded three pretty cheap goals on Wednesday evening.

”[I’m] reluctant to focus on one player," he said. "When you look back through the goals we have conceded today there are multiple errors in all three goals.

“I don’t think Man Utd hurt us a great deal but we conceded three goals. We looked good going forward, we did create chances but didn’t get enough bodies in the key chances, but we scored two goals and it should be enough to get something from the game.

“You feel momentum is with us and there is a much better feel with us in the second half. Then a second goal from a set-play. It is a combination of errors and we know we have to do better."