Eddie Howe issues Newcastle United warning to Allan Saint-Maximin

Allan Saint-Maximin has missed Newcastle United’s previous two games at West Ham and Brentford.

Eddie Howe has warned Allan Saint-Maximin he will not walk straight back into Newcastle United’s starting XI.

It was feared the Magpies would struggle to cope without the Frenchman but a draw at West Ham last week and a 2-0 win at Brentford on Saturday has suggested otherwise.

Jacob Murphy has performed well in the 24-year-old’s absence, while Ryan Fraser has stepped up with a man of the match at the Brentford Community Stadium.

And Howe, who hopes Saint-Maximin will return in time to face Brighton and Hove Albion next weekend, hinted there are no guarantees that the winger will go straight back into the line-up.

Speaking after the win at Brentford, Howe said: “Allan, we hoped he would make it but he was some way short in the end. We now have our fingers crossed and hope he can make the next game.

“I think he will be a lot closer for that game. He is a massive player for us and we are aware we need him back for the next game.

“It is great to see the team able to cope. We are missing some really outstanding individuals but the team is strong enough to get results in their absence.

“That is a good sign for the future.

“I will take selection dilemmas and tough calls over not having enough strength.

“So Allan coming back in, potentially, would be positive for the team, as would any of the players, if we can get them back.

“The squad is in a good place, feeling confident, the environment is strong but we are going into an intense period of games and we will need the whole squad to pay their part.”