NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe has revealed he could field all five of his Newcastle United signings against Everton, but is likely to be without top-scorer Callum Wilson for most of the season.
The Magpies’ head coach has a slight injury doubt over Dan Burn but hopes the towering central defender will be fit for the visit of Frank Lampard’s Toffees to St. James’ Park.
Matt Targett, Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood will all start the match, while Howe is considering throwing in record-breaking signing Bruno Guimaraes from the off, despite only training with the team for the first time on Friday.
“Every team you join there is a period of adjustment, even when you move around in the Premier League. The adjustment is bigger when you are coming from a different league,” Howe said.
“With Bruno, we will have to assess him and make a decision on how quickly we transition him into the team. He is certainly someone we love and I can’t wait to see him in a Newcastle shirt,” he added.
“He is going to bring some great qualities to us and he has got that composure and calmness we need in the midfield.”
On the other four, Howe said: “As for the other guys, they are experienced Premier League players who have done well for their respective clubs before coming to us.
“Dan has a slight toe problem, which has been aggravated in the last few days. He has an infected toe. A small thing that can sometimes become a big thing.”
While it is hoped former Brighton and Hove Albion defender Burn will be OK to make his United debut, the news on Wilson is less positive.
Howe thinks the calf injury the striker suffered in Newcastle’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United in December could keep him sidelined until the end of the season.
“There is a time when he is due back but it is not absolutely clear. It is more about how he feels,” Howe said.
“It has been slow progress for him. We all wish Callum to come back as quickly as possible, but he has to be right when he does return.
“I don’t think he is going to be short-term. Hopefully he can help us in the last couple of games of the season.”
Another player who will definitely not feature against Everton is Jamal Lewis. According to Howe, injury has also played its part in the left-back being removed from the Magpies’ 25-man squad.
“Jamal has been struggling with a long-term groin injury for probably the last year,” the head coach said.
“He has been fit but not 100 percent. So he has gone away to try and get that groin problem right. He has obviously had a hamstring problem lately, too.
“With him not being 100 percent fit and Paul Dummett not training since Leeds, I felt we needed to sign a left-back,” Howe said.
“That was the right decision to make for the team.”