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Howe wants Magpies to be "robust" at Everton

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe say his side need to be "robust" if they're to deal with the threat posed by Everton on Thursday night.

United head to Goodison Park (kick-off 7:45pm) hoping for a win which would further boost their hopes of securing European qualification at the end of what has been a campaign brimming with progress for the Magpies.

But the Toffees, under new manager Sean Dyche, are in need of the points too as they bid to move out of the bottom three at this critical stage of their relegation battle.

And head coach Howe - speaking at his pre-match media briefing at Newcastle's Benton training centre - has warned his side they will need to be prepared for what Everton throw at them on Merseyside.

Here are some of the key talking points from Howe's meeting with the media on Wednesday morning:

On Everton, who are battling the drop under former Burnley boss Dyche...

"I think Everton have got some very strong players. They've had a difficult season with changing manager. Sean's come in with his vast experience and is almost the perfect man for the job because he's been there many, many times and he's always found a way to keep this team up. He did an incredible job at Burnley and now coming into Everton, I think he has his style and his way of playing, and I think the positive thing for them is he has the players to execute that plan.

"We're going to need to be very strong mentally, physically - we need to be robust. We're going to need to stand up to the challenges that we face and then show our quality."

On Anthony Gordon and the prospect of the winger's first return to Goodison Park following his move to Tyneside in January...

"I'm not party to what happened and what went on. I can only really comment on the player that I've seen, and he's been very, very good - trained really well - as I've said many times, (he's) very passionate, wants to achieve, wants to do really well in his career. What happened at Everton, I can't really comment on, but he's fine and he's in a good place.

"I think the beauty of it is he's seen the Everton crowd many times. He was at the club a long, long time, so he will have no surprises about what to expect. I'm sure he's seen other players go back and receive mixed receptions, so hopefully he has seen enough to be robust enough to deal with that."

On Sunday's superb start against Tottenham and his side's desire to begin games on the front foot...

"I think the plan is always to start like that. You want the intensity, you want to take the game to the opposition. I think that, by and large, we've done that really, really well.

"I think where we've had issues has been the last couple of weeks (when) we haven't started in that fashion, so certainly that's something to take into this game and to learn from. (The start against Spurs) would be a great example of what we want, but we're not going to get that start to every week."

On the current injury situation in the Magpies' camp...

"We've got a couple of knocks. Bruno (Guimarães) we think will be okay - no problems. Fabby (Schär)'s one that we will have to check and make a late call on the same situation with a couple of the others.

"I think that there's a obviously a slight issue there (with Bruno) where he's twisted his ankle initially and it was quite a nasty injury. When he has an action in the game, whether it's a kick or a twist, there's a slight bit of pain in his ankle for a period of time and then it really settles down quite quickly.

"He's in consultation with the medical team. He went through a spell where for two weeks it didn't bother him at all, but he obviously aggravated it again on Sunday. We don't see it being a long term problem, but that's for the medical team and Bruno really to hopefully find a solution."

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Eddie Howe's pre-Everton media briefing in full

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