'He wasn't' - Alexander Isak substitution explained ahead of Newcastle United's trip to Man Utd

Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak was substituted with 20 minutes to go against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe says his decision to take off Alexander Isak was because of illness.

With the Magpies’ drawing 1-1 against Brighton and Hove Albion, Howe made a triple substitution in the 68th minute, introducing Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Harvey Barnes.

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And there were some surprise groans around St James’ Park when Isak’s number went up for Barnes.

Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“Alex wasn’t feeling very well yesterday and so I took the decision just to look after him with the three game week in mind,” Howe explained. “I think you could see Alex wasn’t at full tilt today so that was the reason for that.”

Anthony Gordon was moved into the central striker role with Callum Wilson not available also because of illness. But Howe hopes to have both strikers back to full health ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Manchester United.

Howe continued: “With Callum, it’s also a little bit of illness and just feeling not great in his body but hopefully we’ll have him back.”

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As it stands, Newcastle are three points above Man United but a win for Erik ten Hag’s side against Arsenal on Sunday will put them level on points with the Magpies.

Reflecting on dropping points against Brighton, Howe said: “Yes it was [frustrating]. I thought the performance was good from us, I had no issues with our general play. Disappointed with the goal we conceded because Brighton, we know, are a tough team to play against and when they get the goal, the game becomes a lot harder.

“Credit to the players though for how we kept going. Physically, it was hot, there was a lot of running for the players in different conditions and majority of the season.

“Very pleased with our goal. I just felt in that second half that goal might give us the momentum needed to go and win the game but that didn’t happen.

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