Eddie Howe's fitness update on Newcastle United's Callum Wilson ahead of Carabao Cup semi-final

Eddie Howe’s backed Callum Wilson to get back among the goals – after a rare week on the training pitch.

Wilson, preparing for tomorrow’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Southampton at St James’s Park, hasn’t scored since late October.

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The England international – who has scored six Premier League goals so far this season – was laid low by illness after returning from the World Cup, and, according to Howe, he hadn’t had a full week’s training since reporting back to his club until after the first leg at the St Mary’s Stadium last week.

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“Callum’s had precious little training time recently,” said United’s head coach. “This week has probably been the first week’s full training since the World Cup.

"Any player to be at his very best has to train consistently, so we’re really pleased with him this week. I’ve always backed Callum historically to score goals. He thrives and lives for them. So I have never doubted the player.”

Howe has Alexander Isak back from injury, and the striker’s pushing for his first league start since September.

The 23-year-old – who was sidelined for more than three months with a thigh injury – has scored against Fulham after coming off the bench in the club’s last game at St James’s Park.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson.Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson.
Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson.
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Meanwhile, Howe, without Emil Krafth (knee) and Matt Targett (heel) reported no fresh injury concerns after the first leg, which Newcastle won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Joelinton.

Asked for an injury update, Howe said: “Couple of knocks, nothing too major.”