Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe believes his team is stronger as a result of their January transfer window additions, but concedes “nothing is done on paper” as they prepare to refocus on their Premier League survival effort.
Forward Last month, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn, and Matt Targett all arrived at St James’ Park to help the team, which is currently second from bottom in the English Premier League.
Howe expressed his satisfaction with the club’s activity in the first transfer window following the Saudi-led takeover in October.
He added at his news conference on the eve of Tuesday’s home match against Everton, “I think we undoubtedly end the window stronger as a team, as a squad.”
“Signing five players appears to be a lot on the surface, but I believe we were able to drip-feed people into the club rather than having to do it all at once,” he continued.
Trippier and Wood have already played in Premier League games against Watford and Leeds, and all five of the new additions might face Everton.
“It feels like we’ve strengthened the group, not destabilized the team,” Howe said. “When you’re bringing five in at once, that can be a very dangerous thing.”
The proof, according to Newcastle’s manager, will be on the field.
He stated, “Nothing is done on paper.” “I truly enjoy the changes we’ve made. The players we’ve brought in are fantastic. I believe they have exceptional individual abilities, but the most important aspect of every player we’ve signed is that they are excellent people. They have a winning mindset. They are, in my opinion, leaders in their own right.”
Howe dismissed accusations that he was under extra pressure as a result of his large transfer window spending.
“As the manager of this massive club, I’m under no illusions,” he remarked, “but I’m always going to be in the firing line.”
Howe also disclosed that Callum Wilson, the team’s leading scorer, is fighting to stay healthy until the end of the season.
Wilson, who has six goals this season, was projected to be out for about eight weeks after sustaining a calf injury during the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on December 27.
Howe, on the other hand, admitted that the striker could be out for a long time, noting that he was making “slow progress.”
“I don’t believe it’ll be short-term,” he remarked. “Hopefully, he’ll be able to play in the final few games of the season and really help us out at a crucial time.”
Wilson’s extended absence is a major setback for the Magpies, who spent £25 million ($34 million) on Burnley attacker Wood last month but were unable to add further firepower when their pursuits of Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard and Reims’ Hugo Ekitike fell through.