Eddie Howe reveals why Callum Wilson was on the bench for Newcastle United’s Liverpool visit

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson.Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson.
Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson. | Getty Images
Top goalscorer Callum Wilson was named as a substitute for Newcastle United’s visit to Liverpool.

Eddie Howe has opened up on his decision to drop Callum Wilson to the bench for Newcastle United’s defeat at Liverpool.

The club’s number nine and top scorer this term with six had started every game under Howe before being rested for the trip to Anfield.

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Wilson only played the final13 minutes when he replaced Allan Saint-Maximin, who led the line in the 29-year-old’s absence.

Howe explained his thinking behind his Wilson selection call with both Manchester clubs, City and United, next up at St James’ Park.

What did Eddie Howe say about Callum Wilson?

“We felt it was the moment where we could give Callum a rest and protect him,” Howe revealed.

“I know the player very well, I know his history. I know how important he is for the team and the club, so it was a case of just trying to manage his minutes.

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“There are no guarantees if you do manage minutes that you’ll keep everybody fit but I think we’ve got to be intelligent and make the right call on the player’s behalf and obviously the team.”

Why is Callum Wilson’s fitness being managed?

Wilson suffered two anterior cruciate ligament injuries under Howe at Bournemouth and tends up to pick up other issues due to his explosive manner.

We’ve already seen that at Newcastle. Wilson’s second-half of the 2020/21 season was disrupted by a hamstring injury. He also missed four games at the beginning of this term with a similar issue.

Keeping Wilson fit is key to United’s survival bid. Any long-term injury and the club is even deeper in trouble.

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Howe, however, knows how to manage Wilson, and his call to take Wilson out of the starting XI at Liverpool was completely understandable.

In 39 league appearances for Newcastle, Wilson has found the net an impressive 18 times. That’s an average of just over a goal every two matches.

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