Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe reveals view on tactical change

Eddie Howe will not tweak his Newcastle United formation following the return of Callum Wilson from injury.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 7:32 am

Wilson, sidelined since late December, made his comeback in last weekend’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

The striker came off the bench and replaced Chris Wood, who was signed in January for £25million.

Steve Bruce, Howe’s predecessor, was keen to play with two strikers during his time as United head coach. However, Howe – who also has Dwight Gayle available – doesn’t think that change would work for his team, which is 13th in the Premier League with two games left to play.

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“I’d say it’s not how we’re playing at the moment,” said United’s head coach. “We’re playing in a different way to that – not with two strikers.

"I’m not saying it would be impossible, but I think it would maybe be difficult for us to incorporate both into the same team, and still produce a team that is strong enough off the ball to withstand that.

“I think a lot of the problems with two strikers, and why I wouldn’t say gone out of the game, but probably going out of the game, is because, off the ball, you have big spaces. Your midfield and back four find themselves with huge spaces to defend.

“It’s not something I’d say that I’d never do, but it’s certainly not something that’s in my immediate plans to play that way.”

Callum Wilson applauds Newcastle United fans at the Etihad Stadium.

Newcastle’s penultimate league game is against fourth-placed Arsenal at St James’s Park on May 16.