Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin hint ahead of Newcastle United v Southampton

Eddie Howe has provided a fitness update on Newcastle United pair Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin.

Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin are pushing for a recall to Newcastle United’s starting XI.

The attacking duo have both been restricted by injuries this season. Saint-Maximin missed the early part due to a hamstring injury, while a thigh problem kept Isak sidelined for three months.

Both players have come on as substitutes in United’s previous three matches. So, how close are they to starting?

“I’d say they’re both getting there, for sure,” said the Magpies’ head coach. “I think it’s different situations.

“With Alex, we’ve had to be mindful of the fact that he hasn’t had a lot of training time. With a lot of games, you can’t train the players to the intensity that Alex has probably needed.

ewcastle United striker Alexander Isak celebrates with team mates after scoring the winning goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Fulham FC at St. James Park on January 15, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“We’ve backed off his training, and exposed him to the games, but at some stage, he will need that training loan to get back to his very best levels. We’re nursing him in gently.

“Allan has had more training time. He’s had more fitness work, so I think Allan is in peak physical shape.”

Saint-Maximin last started a Premier League game in August when he scored a late equaliser at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Isak, meanwhile, played the opening 45 minutes of United’s FA Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

The Sweden international netted an 89th-minute winner against Fulham just over a week ago but was unable to help United find a breakthrough at Crystal Palace.

It’s likely both players will be involved during tonight’s Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Southampton.

Newcastle last reached a cup final at Wembley in 1999, when they lost in the FA Cup to Manchester United.

“It is a long time and we are desperate to try and change that,” Howe said. Looking too far back and going too historical at this moment probably doesn’t serve us well.

“Players know and they will had enough so it’s to make sure we’re in the present moment.”