Internationals, injuries and incident: It has been a busy two-week break for Newcastle United
In a season like no other, the first (and only) international break before the winter World Cup was a very intriguing one.
As is becoming the norm, Newcastle had numerous call-ups, but only a handful ended the break without incident.
Both Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak had to withdraw from Brazil and Sweden respectively through injury.
Few updates on their condition have been offered, however, Brazilian boss Tite did explain reasons for Guimaraes’ return to Tyneside.
Tite said: “Bruno Guimaraes was with us, he wanted to recover and play again, but the club asked him to return.
“He came to tell us that he was in a dilemma of staying, and he even came to tell us that he’d like us to decide.”
Supporters will be hopeful that neither of the pair will be absent for too long but when Chris Wood also limped off for New Zealand at the weekend, it seemed that all of Newcastle’s worst fears had come at once.
Callum Wilson should be available to make his long-awaited return against Fulham, but even so, the lack of options in attack, where Newcastle have struggled this campaign, is a worry.
The major positive for Eddie Howe’s side this season have came at the back with a much improved defence.
And although it will be disappointing for Dan Burn, his omission from Gareth Southgate’s squad means he, alongside Sven Botman who withdrew from Under-21’s duty with the Netherlands this fortnight, have had a decent amount of time to prepare for the visit to Fulham.
Naturally, however, there is an elephant in the room: Nick Pope.
Now, there are very few Newcastle fans who will be worried about his display against Germany at Wembley.
Despite being just seven games into his Magpies career, Pope already has enough credit in the bank with supporters - but the knock-on effects from Monday night’s showing could have an impact.
It won’t be something Pope, or any keeper for that matter, is unaccustomed to, however, it is how he is able to react from this that will be important.
With their attack faltering, Newcastle need their defence to remain strong and that all stems from a confident Pope.
Fallout from England’s poor performances in the week have led to talk that should Southgate leave his role as manager after the World Cup, then Howe’s name could be firmly in the picture to take over.
Some bookmakers have already made him favourite for the job - an outcome that, even in its hypothetical stage, will send shivers down the spines of Magpies fans.
Of course, there’s little to suggest that Howe would leave the project on Tyneside for England, but it is yet another reminder to supporters that as Newcastle progress as a club, there will be setbacks along the road.
Despite no football being played, it has been a busy couple of weeks at Newcastle and has been a fortnight that could play a major role in how their season plays out between now and May 28.