Eddie Howe tells Newcastle players to avoid city centre after midnight | Newcastle United

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Eddie Howe has warned his players to avoid venturing into Newcastle city centre after midnight. Newcastle’s manager was shocked to learn that his club captain, Jamaal Lascelles, had become involved in a 4am brawl outside a nightclub last month.

Although Lascelles seemingly played no part in instigating the fracas and apparently stepped in to protect his younger brother, Howe appeared unimpressed with the events that unfolded after Newcastle flew back from a Saturday night defeat at Manchester City a fortnight ago.

Despite their plane not landing in the north-east until after midnight, Lascelles, his brother and their entourage headed straight for Newcastle’s nightclub zone only to become embroiled in an altercation now being investigated by the police, which led to one man being taken to hospital after being knocked unconscious.

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“The club will be dealing with everything internally,” said Howe. “But the first thought was Jamaal’s safety. His safety and that of his family is absolutely paramount. We believe he was sort of an innocent in the starting of what happened and was acting as a peacemaker for what happened. But we’d prefer that our players aren’t out in the city centre in the early hours.”

Asked if it had become a no-go zone at that time, Newcastle’s manager did not demur. “Unfortunately probably yes,” said Howe. “It would be nice in theory for us to be in the city centre with our people but the reality is it’s probably not the best place for us to be late at night. Anyway, with the amount of games we have this season and the profile of the players now, l’m not sure that’s where we should be as a group of players and staff in the early hours.”

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With Sven Botman facing a late fitness test on an injured ankle Lascelles is in contention to make a rare start for Newcastle at Brighton on Saturday evening when Howe hopes they will not be distracted by the excitement of a Champions League draw that pairs Newcastle with Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and Milan.

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“There will be a lot of noise, a lot of distractions, around the Champions League games so this season is a real test for us,” said Howe, whose club have just signed a lucrative multiyear kit sponsorship deal with Adidas scheduled to begin at the start of next season. “But we have to have a no-fear attitude and embrace everything. We have to believe we can win the group. I’m not sure that should be the expectation but I think we can. We have some dangerous weapons. Bring it on!”

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