Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe reveals why Callum Wilson was forced off against Southampton

Eddie Howe has revealed why he had to take Callum Wilson off against Southampton.

The Newcastle United striker was withdrawn at the break during this afternoon’s 4-1 win at the St Mary's Stadium. Miguel Almiron, Chris Wood and Joe Willock were on target for Howe’s side, who moved up to third place in the Premier League.

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There were fears that Wilson – who was again watched by England manager Gareth Southgate – had suffered an injury setback, with the 30-year-old having had a spell out with a hamstring problem earlier in the season.

However, Howe revealed after the fixture that Wilson was taken off after feeling “light-headed” at the interval. The 30-year-old had felt unwell earlier in the week, but had declared himself fit to play.

"With Callum, he was unwell in the week, declared himself fit to play today,” said United’s head coach. “Felt a little bit light-headed at half-time.

"I think he’s fine physically, he was just suffering with a bit of illness, so we withdrew him, and Chris Wood came on and scored a great goal.”

Howe went on: “It was a joint decision. He didn't feel he had the energy needed, and it was easy decision to replace him with Chris, who came on and got the job done.”

Southampton's Mohammed Salisu and Newcastle United's Callum Wilson battle for the ball.

Southgate will name his final 26-man squad for the World Cup in Qatar next week.

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Meanwhile, Howe was more pleased with the result than the performance, having felt his team wasn’t at their best with the ball.

"When you look at today's performance, it was below from where have been, but we still won 4-1,” said Howe. “I'm very pleased with the result. The performance wasn't our best, but I'm not going to pick it to pieces.

"It was a tough game for us. Southampton dropped into the bottom three yesterday, so we knew they would show a reaction.

"We were not at our best, but we scored four wonderful goals.

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"It feels a little flat, because we didn't hit the heights which we have in other weeks, but we were clinical when we needed to be."