‘I’d be foolish not to’ - Eddie Howe explains £65m Newcastle United decision v West Ham United

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Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United surged to a 5-1 win over West Ham United.

Eddie Howe made two changes to his Newcastle United starting XI against West Ham United - and it proved to be inspired.

The Magpies’ head coach recalled Callum Wilson and Joelinton in place of the in-form Alexander Isak and Joe Willock. The decision raised some eyebrows but was vindicated within the opening 15 minutes.

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Wilson opened the scoring after six minutes at the London Stadium and Joelinton swiftly added a second. Both players also netted in the second-half to secure braces in a 5-1 win.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

“I think I’ve got a strong squad, and with three games in six days, I want the players to enter the pitch in the best physical condition possible,” Howe explained.

“In my opinion, I’d be foolish not to rotate and trust the team. I trust the squad and the players coming in. I’ve got no doubt on the quality, and we’ve got a lot of games in a short period of time.

“It’s always going to be judged by the result whether that (the rotation) is successful or not, and of course I want to keep people fit and give them the best chance to play as many games as possible.”

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Prior to kick-off, Wilson had only scored two goals in 16 matches but continued his impressive record against the Hammers (12 goals in 13 games).

“Callum was very good, that goes without saying, and the two goals were very important goals for us,” said Howe. “His all-round performance was very strong, but that’s not a surprise to me. I can’t rate Callum any higher than I do, and with him and Alex [Isak], we’ve got two outstanding centre-forwards.

“I’m lucky to have managed Callum for most of those goals, probably. I’m aware of his record against West Ham. I wouldn’t say it was defining factor behind the decision, but it certainly played a part.”

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