While Blackburn gave a good account of themselves over the 120 minutes of open play, Howe’s magpies struggled against their lower league opponents and will need to show a lot more resolve against a Wolves team that has won six of their last nine premier league games and are unbeaten on their travels in their last six away games.
Newcastle meanwhile are looking for their first home win since before Christmas having drawn two and lost two at their once impregnable home.
Both clubs are hoping to reach their own personal goalscoring landmarks tomorrow with Newcastle one goal away from reaching 1500 premier league goals while Wolves sit on 399.
Sven Botman was rested for the midweek cup tie and should be back in contention while Joe Willock is pushing for a starting place. Elliott Anderson is another long-term absentee hoping to stake a place but may have to settle for a place on the bench following his cameo last few minutes in midweek that saw him brought on for Lewis Miley in a tactical switch as the game looked to be heading for the inevitable penalty shoot-out.
Having Anderson back is a huge plus for Howe as it gives him options that he previously has lacked when selecting his starting 11 after what has been a frustrating and difficult layoff for the player.
And speaking at his press conference Howe had this to say about Anderson’s injury and rehab. “It wasn't quick from our side or from Elliot's. It's been hugely frustrating for him that he hasn't been able to kick on sooner and return to training sooner. It's hugely frustrating when you can't run. He had to be very careful, and we had to be careful with him.
The last stage of his injury has been quick, and we were very keen to get him on with penalties in mind. We see him every day practicing penalties and he executes them very well. Still, he had to come in cold and have the composure to execute and he did”.
“He is technically fit but maybe not in the condition we need him to be to play regularly. We have to nurse him back and look after him.
He's been a huge miss for us because of his versatility. When you miss him and Joelinton at the same time, a lot of the versatility in the squad goes”.
However, the game has come too early for Matt Targett, who continues his rehab with Howe emphasizing the need for Targett to concentrate on his fitness before he comes into contention. “Matty might need a bit more time to get back, given his hamstring injury, but he is training now. To get back to their absolute best, I think you need that period of training behind you”.
All signs are that Alexander Isak has come through his last two outings without any problems; all be it he only managed 60 minutes in each, and Howe will be hoping to name his only striker in his starting eleven.
But whatever the line-up, the message from Howe is clear: “We can’t drop too many points, whether it is home or away. We know we are running out of chances; we have to start Saturday. There is no easy game in the Premier League. I think we have great character within the squad and confidence can be difficult to find but we are hopeful of getting back to our best levels. We have to start winning consistently”. Well. Sort of clear.
I bet many would have loved a sports teacher like Eddie!
Match Referee is Tim Robinson. Assistants: Eddie Smart and James Mainwaring while Fourth official is Darren Bond. VAR is being overseen by David Coote. And his Assistant Dan Robathan.