Newcastle notes: Eddie Howe defends team selection and £200m Alexander Isak vow


Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe was asked his thoughts on fans who felt disappointed about seeing a reserve team line up at the Marvel Stadium to face the A-League All Stars.

But he insisted he had no choice but to rest or leave out senior stars on the back of a long hard season and the fact Newcastle have played three games in five days. With jetlag and fatigue factored in, Howe had no choice but to listen to his sports scientists with many stars close to the red zone.

Kieran Trippier and Elliot Anderson were there has back-up stars on the bench in Melbourne but after weighing up the intensity of a game the All Stars were determined to win, Howe did not want to risk either star.

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After being asked by an Australian journalist if he had any response to talk of fans feeling disappointed, Howe said: "We can only do what we can do. To play three games in no time at all with 24 hours of travelling is too much to expect.

"I have to protect the players especially with next season in mind. It is disappointing to lose any game. But I think you have to put it in context. There is no part of me that will dwell on that. It is all about next season now.

"When you are out here you have to give it your best. You have got to enjoy it and be all in. And try to get the most out of the trip. Now we have the pleasure of the journey back which is something we have to go through. It will be good to get back on home soil and start preparing for next season."

Eddie Howe's wave to supporters in low dugout moment

At 6-0 down, Howe had remained in his seat knowing that the best thing that could happen for his fatigued youngsters was the final whistle. At that moment, Newcastle fans started chanting: "Eddie, Eddie give us a wave." And he was quick to acknowledge them almost apologetically.

It would get worse too with the final scoreline coming in at 8-0 as the cream of the Australian A-League triumphed convincingly. Howe was the first to lead the players over and applaud the supporters after the game.

Alexander Isak going nowhere if Eddie Howe has anything to do with it

The Sweden international has had a £200million price tag slapped on him by Newcastle. With Arsenal lurking, the Magpies will do anything they can to avoid losing their top scorer.

Howe said: "All of our best players we need to keep in order for us to continue sustained success and continue momentum we have built in the last two years. It is absolutely imperative that we try to do that."