‘We weren't fit enough’ - revisiting Callum Wilson’s fitness comments ahead of clash between Newcastle United and West Ham

Newcastle travel to the London Stadium this weekend, aiming to fare better than their last clash against the Hammers.

Ahead of their opening day clash with West Ham in August, optimism was high that Steve Bruce’s side could get off to a good start against a team they had done the double against the season previous.

And they got off to the perfect start when, just five minutes in, Callum Wilson netted his first Newcastle United goal in-front of supporters.

However, a second-half collapse saw them lose a 2-1 half-time lead and they eventually succumbed to a 4-2 defeat.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: Callum Wilson of Newcastle United scores their side's first goal past Lukasz Fabianski of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St. James Park on August 15, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It was far from the ideal start to the season for supporters and, as Wilson revealed in December, it wasn’t an ideal start for the players either.

Speaking on the Footballer’s Football Podcast with West Ham striker Michail Antonio, Wilson admitted that the side were not fully fit ahead of that game:

“I'd say first game of the season, we weren't fit enough in terms of being ready for a Premier League fixture,’ he said. “We weren't fit enough and we weren't in the right place.

“The pre-season is massive for the way it sets you up for the season. Every manager has different philosophies in terms of how to get players fit. Ours would have been different to yours, but come day one you're hoping that you've put the work in and you're in a good place.

“Whereas in the game, it showed the longer it went on the more you overran us, which probably boiled down to not being as fit as what we should have been.

“Obviously for lads, technique and stuff starts going out the window when you're tired. Your concentration goes and then all of a sudden you scored a few goals within a short space of time.

“The way the game went, it started turning into a basketball match. That didn't suit us because of the fitness levels. You attack, we attack, you attack, by the time it's the third attack I'm thinking, “Boy, I can't go on that run again because I haven't got the energy”.

Newcastle, without the injured Wilson, will be looking to make it four wins on the spin after when they face-off against West Ham on Saturday lunchtime.

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