Newcastle United training photos ‘drop hint’ over fitness of star man following ‘illness’ struggles

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Newcastle United travel to face Nottingham Forest on Friday night aiming for back-to-back Premier League wins.

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.

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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.

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“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.