By Kevin Phillips

14th Nov, 2021 | 1:30pm

Howe has 'massive' problem at Newcastle after behind-the-scenes reveal from Sky - pundit

Kevin Phillips has insisted Eddie Howe is not pulling up trees at Newcastle United by taking the squad out for a team bonding session.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Premier League striker said the 43-year-old is doing “bog standard stuff” in his first week in charge.

Howe and his staff have been working with their new players at Darsley Park this week.

As revealed by Sky Sports’ Keith Downie (November 11th), the ex-Bournemouth boss took his new players out for a team dinner on Thursday to try and boost morale.

Phillips fears Howe has “a massive job” on his hands given the Magpies defensive frailties.

“Look, the dinner is of no surprise to me,” he told Football Insider.

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“Any manager going in would try and put in a feel-good factor.

“He’ll be putting sessions on that excite the players. It will not be rocket science. It will be something competition based which is a bit of fun.

“The old one that everybody does is taking the players out for a team bonding dinner. In all honesty, it is bog standard stuff. I’m sure Steve Bruce took the players out for many dinners.

“Everyone is just getting carried away because a new manager has come in. I understand the excitement.

“It is all well and good but at the end of the day, it is about getting results. Eddie Howe has got a massive problem on his hands because that squad is poor defensively. It will be a massive job to stop them conceding goals. It is as simple as that.”

In other news, Campbell is left buzzing over ‘great news’ for Newcastle after training ground footage emerges on social media.