Newcastle United players 'playing for their futures' under Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe has addressed Allan Saint-Maximin’s future at Newcastle United amid speculation linking him with an end-of-season move.

It was claimed this week that the club was “willing” to sell him for £50million in the summer transfer window to fund a rebuild.

And Howe was asked whether Saint-Maximin had a long-term future at Newcastle ahead of tomorrow night’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers. United’s head coach said: "Absolutely yes.”

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Howe went on: "I’ve got a great relationship with Maxi. I’ve really enjoyed working with him. And, for me, we need, if we look between now and the end of the season, Maxi at his very best levels. He could potentially be the difference between us staying in the league. He’s an incredible talent, and, yes, of course he has a long-term future at the club.”

Saint-Maximin returned to United’s starting XI against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend after fully recovering from the calf problem he suffered in mid-February.

Howe, for his part, is assessing his squad every day on the training pitch.

"I think everyone’s always playing for their future,” said Howe. “Every day, in training, I’m making assessments on character, on attitude, and I think that’s where you really see what the players are like behind the scenes.

Allan Saint-Maximin.

"Day to day, my expectations on the training ground are very high. I want everyone to give their best in every moment.

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"Some players can find that a challenge. But I think that’s what you need for long-term success. Every day I’m analysing and making decisions on people’s futures based on what I see.”

Meanwhile, Howe is staying calm following three successive defeats away from home.

“Look, I embrace the wins, and I love that positive feeling, and I want to see other people happy,” said Howe.

“But I don’t think it’s healthy for me to get caught up in it and become a person of extreme emotion. I don’t think that’s going to help my players at all, so staying calm, using my brain to think logically and intelligently, I think, are the things that I need.”