Delayed arrival in Milan ‘no big deal’, insists Newcastle boss Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe has insisted the weather which delayed Newcastle’s arrival in Italy will not derail their Champions League adventure.
The club’s latest European mission hardly got off to the most auspicious of starts when, having been given special dispensation to train on Tyneside on Monday morning rather than at the San Siro later in the day, they remained on the ground for more than two hours.
However, speaking at a press conference which finally got under way at around 9pm local time when it had initially been scheduled for 7pm, Howe was adamant preparations for a tough opening encounter with AC Milan would not be hampered as a result.
He said: “It’s just part and parcel of the job that we do. It’s not out of the normal that that can happen. This was a weather problem, but we’ve been in similar situations.
“It’s something we’re used to, although it’s a slightly later arrival time than we would have liked for the players. It’s no big deal though.”
Howe and his players were due to leave Tyneside at around 2.30pm, but eventually took off closer to 5pm and, as the media gathered at the stadium to await the 45-year-old and former Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali, a plane-tracking app suggested they were still somewhere above France.
They finally made it to the stadium at around 9pm, with article 73 of governing body UEFA’s regulations stating: “Press conferences must start between 1200 and 2000 local time. Exceptions to these timings must be agreed in advance with UEFA.”
However, the PA news agency understands a first offence is likely to be met with a warning rather than more stringent punishment.
Had Newcastle arrived on time, they would have done so in torrential rain as thunderclouds gathered over the Italian city as a