Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe delivers Callum Wilson verdict after Gareth Southgate visit

Eddie Howe’s backed Callum Wilson after the Newcastle United striker pressed his claims for an England call-up with two goals in front of Gareth Southgate.

Wilson scored two goals, and was involved in strikes scored by Miguel Almiron and Joelinton, in a 4-0 win over Aston Villa at St James’s Park this afternoon.

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The strikes took the 30-year-old’s goal tally for the season to six from nine games.

"Really pleased for Callum,” said United's head coach. “I’m not sure what the players know and don’t know about who comes and who’s watching them. I almost think it’s better you play your normal game, and aren’t over-thinking too much.

"Callum’s of course desperate to be involved with England. It’s one of his childhood dreams. He’ll be really pleased he played so well, scored two goals. His overall performance was very good.”

Wilson – who hasn’t won an England cap since joining Newcastle from Bournemouth two years ago – scored a penalty added time at the end of the first half after Ashley Young handled a shot from Almiron. Wilson scored his second from a second-half corner.

On Wilson's goals, Howe added: "They’ve got to be taken. He’s an outstanding striker."

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.

Meanwhile, Villa first-team coach Aaron Danks labelled his team’s defeat as "really disappointing”.

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“The first half was an even contest,” said Danks. “The penalty obviously gives them a bit of belief. We tried to tweak one or two things, but they had a really good spell – and punished us. There are a lot of sombre heads in the dressing room.”