Eddie Howe reveals why he left Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin out of his starting XI

Eddie Howe’s revealed why Allan Saint-Maximin started Newcastle United’s 5-1 win over Brentford on the bench.

Saint-Maximin and Joelinton, two of Howe’s most influential players, were named as substitutes at St James’s Park this afternoon.

The pair came off the bench late in the win, the club’s biggest in the Premier League since a victory over Tottenham Hotspur by the same scoreline in May 2016.

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Howe was mindful that Saint-Maximin had only had a week of training after recovering from the hamstring injury which had seen him miss four games – and again fielded Jacob Murphy on the left.

Joelinton – who had been an unused substitute against Fulham at Craven Cottage a week earlier because of a knee injury – was also “protected” by United's head coach.

“I was able to protect a couple of players today,” 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.

"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.”

Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin arrives at St James's Park.

The result lifted the club up to fifth in the Premier League table ahead of a challenging run of games against Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.

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"Now, we enter a really tough three-game week, and we’re well aware that those games are difficult,” said Howe. “We’ll enjoy tonight, and enjoy the feeling of how well the team has done, but then quickly focus on what’s ahead.”