Eddie Howe explains Allan Saint-Maximin’s Newcastle United absence with 11-word message

Allan Saint-Maximin was a surprise absentee for Newcastle United at Sheffield Wednesday as Eddie Howe explains the winger’s omission.

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Howe made eight changes to the Newcastle side that drew 0-0 with Arsenal in the Premier League on Tuesday night with only Sven Botman, Sean Longstaff and Joelinton staying in the side. And when asked why Saint-Maximin had been left out of the squad, Howe claimed ‘illness’ was the reason.

“Maxi felt under the weather after training yesterday so he’s missing,” Howe told BBC.

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Callum Wilson also missed out while record signing Alexander Isak returned to the starting line-up for the first time since September after a spell out with an thigh injury.

“Callum has just come out of a long illness so with the game against Arsenal and this in quick succession, we decided to rest him today.”

On Isak’s return, Howe said: “There’s no risk, well there’s always a risk every time players are on the football pitch but there’s no risk in the sense that he’s done the work that he’s needed to do and we’re happy with where he’s at.

“I don’t expect him to finish the game today. It’ll be a short intense period for him but we wanted him to have the full warm-up and be ready to play, hense why he’s starting.”