Eddie Howe explains Newcastle United selection decision after leaving Allan Saint-Maximin out of starting XI

Eddie Howe’s explained his team selection for Newcastle United’s 5-1 win over Brentford.

Howe opted to name fit-again Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton on the bench for Saturday’s game at St James’s Park.

Jacob Murphy and Sean Longstaff started ahead of the pair, having helped the club to a 4-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage a week earlier. And Murphy rewarded Howe by scoring his team’s second goal.

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"I’m a big believer that if you do a good job for the team then you deserve that chance to play again, unless there’s a tactical reason to change it, whether that’s personnel or shape, that’s obviously different,” Howe told NUFC TV.

"But I’m a believe that if you do well you earn the right to keep the shirt. We’ve got a lot of games to come, so we’re going to need the whole squad in the next week. We’re got three really tough games, and I’m looking forward to getting as many of the players fit for that week as we can.”

Winger Saint-Maximin had missed the club’s previous four games with a hamstring injury, while midfielder Joelinton had been an unused substitute against Fulham because of a knee problem.

And Howe was also minded to “protect” them.

Callum Wilson celebrates with Newcastle United goalscorer Jacob Murphy.

“I was able to protect a couple of players,” said Howe. “Maxi’s only just back training with us, and entering the first stages of his recovery, so we didn’t have to start him.

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"Joelinton, we were able to give another week to his knee, to recover. They were huge positives because entering a three-game week, we’re going to need the whole squad.”