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Schär likely to miss rest of the season, says Howe ahead of Burnley trip

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe believes Fabian Schär "will miss a period of time out" ahead of the Magpies' Premier League trip to Burnley on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm BST).

The Magpies travel to Turf Moor aiming to maintain their pursuit of European football next season but face a Clarets side, unbeaten in their last three league outings, who could move out of the relegation zone with a victory this weekend.

Howe, who is in line for his 100th Premier League game as Newcastle manager against his former club, revealed Fabian Schär could be sidelined for the remainder of the 2023/24 campaign, with the Swiss defender withdrawn during United's 5-1 win against Sheffield United last weekend but has been welcomed by the return of Joelinton, Miguel Almirón and Nick Pope to training earlier this week.

Here are some of the boss' main talking points from Friday's pre-match media briefing, held at United's Training Centre in Benton...

On injuries:

“Fabian will miss a period of time out with a minor hamstring problem. He won’t be available tomorrow and I doubt we’ll see him again this season.

"We've had Miggy and Joelinton return to training this week, their first steps back into full team training. We've also seen that with Nick Pope so it's been a really good week to have three experienced, quality players back. It's certainly gave us a big lift.

"We'll see after today (if they are available for Burnley). I've got to make the right decisions for them individually and for the team. Respectively, they've been out different time lengths with significant injuries so we need to make sure we make this call right."

On Kieran Trippier:

"Kieran lies just slightly behind the guys that have come back. He hasn't trained this week. He's been away training by himself with our physiotherapist. 

"We anticipate he'll be back next week to train. I say that with fingers crossed and he could be involved before the end of the season."

On Sandro Tonali, who was given a suspended two-month ban from competitive football by an independent Regulatory Commission after self-declaring breaches of FA Betting Rules:

“I think it’s the right decision the FA have arrived at, that his ban isn’t extended. Sandro is currently working hard behind the scenes. He's trained very well but, we’re still supporting him and helping him as he serves this time.

"He's been very consistent. Of course, I see a small fraction of his life in the time he's at the training ground and he's a very good professional. He's still relatively quiet within the group but I think that's just his personality. That's not in a negative way - he's really focussed on his football and improving his game.

"I'm sure he's had really difficult moments in the past few months and days where he's felt worse than others but he's conducted himself in a really positive way.

"I’ve seen the hunger (to return) there all through the time. He's trained at a really good level and he's done a lot of work on his own. We’ve covered loads of aspects of his game to try and help him and utilise the time in a positive way.”

On Emil Krafth:

"Especially in the centre-back position, we're lighter than we'd like to be with Jamaal (Lascelles), Sven (Botman) and now Fabian missing but I thought Emil came onto the pitch and played really well last week when Fabian went off.

"Emil has played in that central position well for us this season, going back to the Manchester United game in the Carabao Cup. I thought he was outstanding so it's something he's done before and I have no doubts over his qualities."

On facing Burnley, whom he managed between January 2011 and October 2012:

"An interesting team because of how they play. Vincent (Kompany) has done a really good job and been very true to his principals.

"They are very expansive and play an attractive style of football. They've not deviated from that all season despite some difficult periods for them and they deserve a lot of credit for that. I think the manager deserves a lot of credit for his strength of identity and they are reaping the rewards of that in this period towards the end of the season.

"I think it's one defeat in eight and I know Turf Moor very well. It's a difficult place to go for any team so we'll be ready for the game."

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Eddie Howe's pre-Burnley media briefing in full

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