Howe reveals two new injury concerns and NUFC duo’s absence explained after Al-Hilal win

Eddie Howe has confirmed that Chris Wood and Joelinton came off with injury concerns during last night’s 5-0 win over Al-Hilal – although he’s confident neither are serious issues.

Wood had a ‘tight back’ and felt he couldn’t continue, while Joelinton – who scored twice in the first half – came off in the 56th minute after ‘feeling some tightness’ in his hamstring.

The boss seems to think both were precautionary withdrawals that don’t look ‘too bad’ – which is fortunate given Callum Wilson (World Cup) and Alexander Isak (managing comeback from a thigh injury) are unlikely to feature in our Carabao Cup clash with Bournemouth in 12 days time.

Elsewhere, it’s believed Matt Targett and Karl Darlow sat out of the 5-0 win due to ‘illness’, although it’s not clear why Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie failed to feature in the squad.

Here’s what Howe told NUFC TV after the game:

“Chris has just got a tight back. I don’t think it’s too bad.

“He didn’t feel he could continue, so there’s no point in taking any risks.

“Joelinton was feeling some tightness in his hamstring. I don’t think it’s a pull or anything.

“Fingers crossed, they’re not too bad.

Howe also said this after the game when asked about our performance on the night, feeling the scoreline may be harsh on an Al-Hilal side who gave us a “difficult game”:

“Tough game, but they’re the games you want.

“I know the scoreline looks comfortable, but it was a difficult game, especially in the first half.

“I thought we grew into the game after a difficult opening 10-15 mins.

“There were some really good bits, some stuff to work on.

“There was a little bit of rustiness we’re still playing ourselves out of, but we’ll be better for the game.”

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