Newcastle United training photos ‘drop hint’ over fitness of star man following ‘illness’ struggles
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A 2-1 win over Wolves on Sunday was secured after goals from Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron. The Paraguayan’s late deflected strike ended a run of three defeats in a row for the Magpies and moved them into 5th place in the Premier League.
Eddie Howe opted to make five changes for the clash with Wolves, including decisions to drop Almiron from his starting line-up and to recall Isak to the first-team with Callum Wilson dropping to the bench. As he revealed post-match, Howe’s decision to start Wilson on the bench against Wolves came after the striker had been battling illness in the week leading up to the game.
“Callum's had a difficult week,” said United’s head coach. “He hasn't trained all week, so Callum did really well to put himself on the pitch today – and I was delighted with him.
“A little bit of illness with Callum, nothing serious, but it was a difficult week for him, as I said, he missed training from very early in the week. He did very, very well to make himself available today, and it’s not lost on me, because he was a key sub. He wasn't 100% to take to the pitch, but he did that for the cause.”
Friday’s game could give Wilson another opportunity to impress before the forthcoming international break, however, in a recent batch of training photos posted by the club, the 31-year-old was not seen in any of the released pictures. Isak, who has started six league games for the Magpies this season, was given a prominent position in the training gallery as Howe, Jason Tindall and the rest of the coaching staff watched on.
Almiron and Matt Ritchie, who both had to settle for a place on the bench last time out, were also heavily featured as they aim to force themselves into Howe’s first-team plans. Jacob Murphy and Allan Saint-Maximin were the wide men chosen to start against Wolves following injury to Anthony Gordon, one that is set to rule him out of action until after the international break.