Eddie Howe reveals why he left Callum Wilson out of his Newcastle United starting XI

Eddie Howe has revealed why he left Callum Wilson out of his starting XI at Anfield.

Saturday, 18th December 2021, 7:00 am

The Newcastle United striker – who has scored six Premier League goals so far this season – started Thursday night’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on the bench.

Wilson, troubled by hamstring problems since joining the club from Bournemouth last year, was sent on late in the game after Allan Saint-Maximin suffered an injury.

Howe, mindful of the importance of managing Wilson’s minutes through the hectic festive period, felt that it was the time to leave the 29-year-old out of his starting XI.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Callum Wilson.

Asked about the decision to start Wilson on the bench, United’s head coach said: “With that (managing the players through the festive period) in mind, we felt today was the moment where we could give Callum a rest and protect him.

“Obviously, I know the player very well (from Bournemouth). I know his history. I know how important he is for the team and the club. It was the case of just trying to manage his minutes.

"There’s no guarantee even if you do manage minutes, that you’ll keep everybody fit, but I think we’ve got to be intelligent, and make the right call on the player’s behalf and the team’s behalf, and today was that moment for Callum.”

Wilson is expected to return to the starting XI for Sunday’s home game against Premier League champions Manchester City.

Relegation-threatened Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League with 10 points from 17 games.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Newcastle United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription; sign up here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor