Key Quotes from Eddie Howe's Pre-West Ham press conference
. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe spoke to the press today ahead of their away trip to face West ham.

Some of the topics spoke about today were challenges that they may face, injuries, midfield and defensive selection dilemmas.

Howe on West Ham.

Newcastle are on a good run of form after winning their last 3 games in a row. However West Ham will be a very difficult challenge as they look to make their push for Champions League football.

"We know how difficult this game is going to be for us but on our recent run and the confidence we have, we have proved we can compete with anyone in the division. We will need to be at our very best levels again, especially physically."

Injury Updates.

2 of Newcastle's fullbacks were forced off due to injury last time out against Aston Villa

The inform Kieran Trippier was forced off just after the half time break with a foot injury and was pictured after the game wearing a protective boot. 

Fans feared the worst as the England International has been a key part of the upturn in form in recent weeks. Most notably for his 2 freekick goals he scored against Everton and Aston Villa. 

""He had his operation yesterday and that went well so that was good news. We aim to have him back before the end of the season but it's a significant injury which is a big blow for us."

Javier Manquillo was the other player forced off against Villa. Less was known about the severity of his injury.

Although he filled in at left back against Villa, that was only due to Matt Targett not being able to play against his parent club. 

His stronger position is right back and would of been the perfect candidate to fill in instead of Trippier.

"(Javier) Manquillo went off in the same game after landing awkwardly on his ankle following a header. We don't think that's serious but he will miss the (West Ham) game. Apart from that, we're as we were."

Defensive decisions.

January Signing Dan Burn made an impressive debut against Villa last week. Fabian Schar also had a very good game against Villa.

But now club captain Jamaal Lascelles is back in contention for a start this leaves Howe with a decision to make.

"I'll have to make a decision that's best for the team. You want a squad that's pushing and fighting for each other - I think whoever plays knows if they don't perform, they have a very good player waiting for their opportunity to get back in."

Midfield Options.

Newcastle's midfield has been very strong in recent weeks and is one of the reasons why they have been in such good form.

Joelinton has been a revelation since Howe moved him to centre midfield. Jonjo Shelvey has also relished to opportunities Howe has given him and has also been playing well.

More recently Joe Willock, who since joining on a permanent deal from Arsenal has struggled to find his form of last season, has been playing very well and starting to show why Newcastle spent £25 million.

But after the January signing of the highly rated Bruno Guimaraes, Howe now has to find out where he will fit into that midfield. 

"It's a really strong area, probably our strongest in terms of personnel. Every player would have an argument to say I deserve to start so long may that continue."

"Bruno will start a lot of games for us and will be a huge player. I don't think this period where he's watching and learning from the Premier League is a bad thing for him although it will frustrate him because he wants to show his talent."

VAVEL Logo