Eddie Howe facing crisis after flat showing in Europe

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Newcastle fell to defeat in midweek to Borussia Dortmund as the German giants comfortably won 2-0 at the Signul Iduna Park. 

It was a disappointing performance overall from Eddie Howe’s players who were well beaten in Germany no thanks to an injury crisis the club are currently in.

It was a harsh lesson and a reminder of just how far Newcastle have to go to become a more rounded, competitive side as well as needing more strength in depth. This side will be a frightening force in Europe with some extra craft and guile and until then, they will continue to lay a glove on the big sides they come across.

Speaking after the game against Dortmund, Howe showcased why this side can go incredibly far, not drawing excuses despite the obvious squad issues.

But with just 13 senior outfield players and Callum Wilson forced off after 45 minutes with a tight hamstring, this side is being heavily restricted in reaching it’s potential in a landmark season.

Squad depth is an obvious issue and with Premier League clubs due to vote on a ruling that will limit Howe’s side adding to their squad from clubs in Saudi, movement in January could be impacted.

How can Newcastle overcome this rough patch?

Rough patch is perhaps a harsh term to use but the games are coming thick and fast. The Christmas schedule follows up midweek games in the Champions League and League Cup meaning time for rest and recovery becomes limited.

Reinforcements in January are inevitable, but can Newcastle convince new recruits they’ll be playing in the Champions League by the time the window opens.

A gruelling schedule of two games a week was going to catch up with a team more used to playing one. This was highlighted in Dortmund’s first goal, which resulted from Dortmund inexplicably winning three loose balls in a row on the edge of the Newcastle area.

Improvements are needed and needed quick, but that improvement is heavily reliant on getting players back to fitness so the squad is capable of performing to a high standard more than once a week.

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