Eddie Howe’s message to Newcastle United’s Callum Wilson ahead of injury comeback
Time’s running out for Callum Wilson.
The Newcastle United striker is focused on making his comeback from injury against Fulham on October 1. Beyond that, Wilson hopes to go to the 2022 World Cup with England.
However, Wilson hasn’t played for his country since joining Newcastle United from Bournemouth just over two years ago – and Gareth Southgate will name his squad for the tournament on October 19, 33 days before the first group match against Iran.
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The 30-year-old has been sidelined with a hamstring problem since scoring in last month’s 3-3 draw against Premier League champions Manchester City.
Wilson – who was “50-50” for last weekend’s 1-1 draw against his old club Bournemouth – should be fit to face Fulham barring any late setbacks.
And Eddie Howe still believes there’s time for Wilson to go to the World Cup.
“I think there’s time,” said United’s head coach. “I’m a firm believer in him and his abilities, and I know Gareth is the same.
“What does he have to do? He has to return and score – and he has to be consistent in his availability. Maybe he has to have a bit of luck somewhere else to make that plane.”
Wilson also believes that there’s time for him to make Southgate’s squad.
Howe added: “Never try to predict what will happen in the future - and never write off Callum Wilson. His mindset’s incredible.
“I don’t think his World Cup chance is gone, and I don’t think Callum believes so either. He’ll want to get back as quickly as possible - and score goals.”
The setbacks and injuries Wilson has had in his career have only “fuelled” him, according to Howe.
“Of course, I feel for Callum, because he’s not in the squad,” said Howe. “I feel for Callum, because he’s been injured, but you have to look to the future, and, for Callum, you can’t sit there and dwell and go ‘poor me’.
“He’s not the type that’s ever going to be like that, and I certainly wouldn’t encourage him to be that way.
“He’s had an unbelievable rise himself – from non-league to the position that he’s in – so I think he savours every moment rather than looks at negative situations.
“It’ll just fuel his motivation, it’ll fire him even more, so when he returns to the team, he shows how good he is.”
Howe said after the Bournemouth game that it would have been a “risk” to field him.
“He was close, but I think we made an early decision that it would’ve been too big a risk,” said Howe. "So, we hope that with a bit more time, there’s a chance that the next game could be good for him.”
Meanwhile, Wilson spoke about his comeback on The Footballer’s Football Podcast this week.
“I was potentially fit for the Bournemouth game, 50/50,” said Wilson, who also scored in the club’s season-opener against Nottingham Forest.
"But missing that has given me the opportunity over the international break to work even harder now. It's short-term sacrifice for long-term gains.”