Howe banishes idea of Milan distraction and gives Tonali injury update

By Oliver Fisher -

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has revealed that he has banned talk of their upcoming Champions League game against AC Milan, while giving an update on Sandro Tonali’s fitness.

Newcastle will embark on their first Champions League campaign in almost 20 years and their first group game takes them to the San Siro where they will face a Milan side that have started the season well going into tomorrow’s derby.

Howe is eager to make sure that his side do not get swept up in the excitement of the occasion that awaits next Tuesday evening because they have an important game against Brentford coming up first as they aim to recover from a difficult start in the league.

The Newcastle boss spoke at his pre-match press conference before the match against the Bees, and he spoke about balancing commitments.

“The only focus for me is trying to beat Brentford. Milan take priority once the game is over,” he said (via the Chronicle).

“I think we’ll deal with the excitement, a slightly longer flight than normal in England. We’ve dealt with all kinds of things thrown at us. I’m very reluctant to talk about Milan at all today. All our energy and I want players’ focus to be on tomorrow.

“The challenges aren’t going to go away. We had tough fixtures through pre-season, and at the start of the season. There are no easy games. We have to respond. The only disappointment has been Brighton. I haven’t lost faith in the group.”

On the possibility of Italian international Tonali recovering in time for the weekend…

“I think he felt his thigh in training, so he’s come back in and he’s had a scan. There’s a slight injury there – it’s nothing serious or too long – but we’ll wait and see whether he’s available this weekend.”

Tags AC Milan Eddie Howe Milan Newcastle
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