Chris Wood's impact at Newcastle United 'highlighted' by Eddie Howe

Chris Wood is still looking for his first Newcastle United goal – but the striker's already made a big impact, according to Eddie Howe.

Wood joined the relegation-threatened club last month after a £25million release clause in his Burnley contract was activated.

The 30-year-old has started United’s last three games in the absence through injury of leading scorer Callum Wilson, who could miss all but the “last few” fixtures.

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Howe, speaking ahead of Sunday’s Premier League home game against Aston Villa, has been pleased with Wood’s contribution so far.

“It’s worth highlighting Chris Wood’s impact,” said United's head coach. “I think his physicality and ability to make life very uncomfortable for the opposing centre-halves has been key as well in the last couple of games. The balance of the team’s been very good.”

Wood, for his part, will be keen to get his first goal, though Howe believes there’s much more to his game.

“He’ll want that goal, but, I think, it’s not lost on me the difference his presence and physicality have made to that front line,” said Howe.

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"There’s been a lot of balls he’s had no right to get a touch on, or just knock a defender, than means we’re able to get up the pitch and spend longer in their half. Also his work rate and team work. He’s covered for Maxi (Allan Saint-Maximin) a couple of times when he’s out of position.

Newcastle United striker Chris Wood.Newcastle United striker Chris Wood.
Newcastle United striker Chris Wood.

"For a striker of his type to do those unselfish things has made a big difference. I don’t think you can under-estimate all the aspects of his way that have helped the team.”

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