Premier League. Howe says Gordon could miss Forest trip

Eddie Howe's pre-Nottingham Forest media briefing in full
09 Feb 24

The main talking points from Eddie Howe's pre-Nottingham Forest media briefing

The 22-year-old was forced off at half time during the Magpies' 4-4 draw at home to Luton Town last weekend, and subsequently left St. James' Park on crutches.

Howe reckons the weekend game at the City Ground (kick-off 5:30pm GMT) may come to soon for both Gordon, who he says hasn't been able to train this week, and fellow forward Alexander Isak - though he revealed that the Swedish frontman was "making good progress" in his own rehabilitation after his injury at Aston Villa last week.

The United head coach delivered a fitness update at his pre-match media briefing on Friday morning, as well as discussing Callum Wilson and Harvey Barnes' recent returns and the reverse fixture against Nuno Espirito Santo's men.

Here are some of the main talking points that were covered at the Magpies' Benton training centre:

On the fitness of Gordon and Isak...

"(Anthony) hasn't trained this week. We don't think the injury is serious - we hope he is back sooner than later.

"Alex won't make this game. We hope he won't be too far away for the following games, but he doesn't have a fixed return date yet. He is making good progress - the injury isn't as serious as first feared."

On Joe Willock and Elliot Anderson, who remain sidelined...

"They're doing well at this moment in time. Joe's working really hard - he's not trained with the group yet, but he's working really hard with the sport science team. He's in that final stage of his rehab and we hope he can be back pretty soon."

"Elliot's not far away either. He's had good news on his scan a while ago and he's now really kicked up his running, so both players are getting closer."

On Wilson and Barnes' returns in last Saturday's draw with the Hatters...

"(Callum) has trained well this week - we've been really pleased with him. I thought he did well last week in a 45-minute cameo. Prior to that game he hadn't really trained a great deal with the team, so he was again thrust back into action really. But he looks good, he's getting his sharpness back, and he's had a good week in front of goal."

"(Harvey) has worked incredibly hard, it has been frustrating for him. I know he's had that frustration internally, for a long time, where he just didn't feel right. He was working hard and still just feeling some sensations in his foot.

"You saw his quality - what a finish that was on his wrong side, from that distance. He only had a really small part of the goal to aim at, and he finished it brilliantly - and in that moment, sort of summed up what we have missed from potential substitutes when you're struggling in a game and you need to change the flow of the game, the momentum. We haven't had those options for a number of weeks, and it was a big moment for us."

On the Boxing Day defeat to Forest in the reverse fixture at St. James' Park...

"It was a game that got away from us, which when we went 1-0 up you didn't really see coming. I thought we'd started the game really well and I actually think through lots of that game we were pretty good.

"But we got some key details wrong, we conceded some poor goals, which is something we have to improve on. Overall it was a disappointing day which promised so much, and of course there's lots of things we can take from that game into this one."

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