Eddie Howe names Newcastle United player who's 'never let him down'
Wilson sat out the Boxing Day fixture after missing training late last week due to sickness.
Howe turned to Chris Wood after Wilson didn’t recover in time – and the striker had the ball in the net three minutes into the game, which Newcastle won 3-0 to move up to second place in the Premier League.
Wood, signed from Burnley for £25million in January, converted a penalty after Joelinton was tripped in the box, and Howe has paid tribute to the 31-year-old as he prepares to face his former club Leeds United at St James’s Park on New Year’s Eve.
“He’s never let us down since the day he arrived at the football club,” said United’s head coach. “He’s a brilliant professional away from the pitch, very hardworking, and trains really well.
"Whenever we’ve called upon him, he’s always produced in terms of our tactical and pressing plans to the highest level. I thought he was very good tactically, and scored a huge penalty for us.
"He’s been very good from those situations. Full credit to Chris.”
Wood’s future has been the subject of speculation since the summer arrival of Alexander Isak in a £60million, but the New Zealand international reiterated his commitment to the club while in Saudi Arabia with his team-mates for a training camp earlier this month.
Asked if he saw his future as being at United, Wood said: "(Yes), 100% – especially with the way the club’s going.
"I'd love to be here long-term. I still believe I have a big part to play here. I’ve not shown my best football here yet, but hopefully I can do that given the chance.
"If not, I’m here to support the club – and push them in the right direction."
Wood went on: "I’m committed here – and want to be here. Whatever capacity it is, I want to be here and help the manager. If it's five minutes (off the bench), and seeing a game out, I’m here to do it, work hard and press.
"If it's starting the game, scoring goals and working hard, I'm here to do that. My future’s definitely here."