Sven Botman is the main concern after he hobbled off in the closing minutes of last weekend’s defeat to Liverpool and Howe immediately addressed this saying “Sven's had a scan. The ankle doesn't appear too good. There's definitely an injury there but it presents OK. He's been lightly jogging this week, we'll see how he is today before making a decision. There's a small chance he could make the squad”.
On Joelinton, who again didn’t see out a full 90 minutes due to a knock Howe was a little more optimistic when he stated that the Brazilian was “Another one we have to make a late decision on. He hasn't trained this week, very similar to Sven. He feels better with each day. We'll see”.
Both Emil Krafth and Joe Willock remain unavailable for selection as their recuperation from their respective injuries continue.
As the clock ticks towards the closing of the summer transfer window Howe implied that Newcastle’s business has been completed and there will be no further incomings. “The window has been very slow initially. There wasn't a lot of action, but it's quickened up as we get to the deadline. For us, we were able to get our targets in, we've been quite settled and there'll be no late moves from us”.
We knew when we signed Lewis we wouldn't sign anymore. With Sven's injury it's just one injury and we hope to get him back pretty quickly. We're a lot stronger than we are this time last year”.
Moving on to his reaction to the Champions League draw Howe appeared to be like the majority of fans when he explained “It took me a few seconds to process it! The group stage can be quite complex. I didn't realise it was that complicated!
When the dust settles down you look at it with excitement. No negativity from us internally towards the draw. [It's] Challenging but some great European games to experience and great places to visit for our supporters. It's a great thing”.
“It doesn't matter who we play. There has to be an attitude of no fear. No doubts. Let's embrace everything it will bring. It will challenge us hugely so no doubts about the size of the challenge. But bring it on! That has to be how we feel”.
Howe also answered the matter of the incident around Jamal Lascelles that was reported on earlier in the week stating “We believe (Jamaal Lascelles) was the innocent party & was acting as a peacemaker. I'd prefer that my players aren't out in the city centre in the early hours, but the main thing is that Jamaal & his brother are fine”.
Turning to tomorrow’s opponents Howe had only pleasant words of praise for Brighton’s players and head coach Roberto De Zerbi. “They're a very interesting team. Roberto has done an amazing job. He's a very unique coach in the way he gets his team to play. The style of play is really good. He deserves a lot of credit. The players deserve a lot of credit for what they did last season and how they've started this one”.
De Zerbi meanwhile was less enthusiastic when he met the press when he confirmed that new loan signing Ansu Fati won't make his debut this weekend, while Danny Welbeck is out with a small injury.
"I think no [Fati won't be involved], he hasn’t worked in the last four or five days.
"Danny Welbeck can’t play, it’s a muscular injury, but the situation isn’t so bad. We are in good condition."
Brighton meanwhile have their own European adventure to enjoy this season and in Friday’s lunchtime Europa league draw they were grouped with Ajax, Marseille and AEK Athens.