Newcastle United duo told to step up after huge fresh injury blow

Two Magpies strikers have been set a challenge after one team-mate suffered a major injury blow.

Callum Wilson and Chris Wood have been urged to ‘step up’ after Newcastle United forward Alexander Isak was ruled out of action until after the new year.

The Sweden International made a promising start to life on Tyneside after completing a club record £58m deal to join Eddie Howe’s side from Real Sociedad in August.  Isak marked his debut with a goal in United’s 2-1 defeat at Liverpool and could count himself unfortunate not to have doubled his tally at Anfield after a second effort was ruled out following a questionable offside decision.

Isak grabbed his first goal at St James Park just over two weeks later when he netted from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth - but that remains his last appearance for the club after he suffered a thigh injury during training with Sweden in the international break last month.

There had been hopes Isak could make a comeback before the World Cup but Magpies manager Howe confirmed he had suffered ‘a setback’ ahead of Wednesday night’s home clash with Everton and it now seems unlikely the forward will return to contention until the new year.

Former United winger Darren Ambrose admitted the news was ‘a huge blow’ for his old club but stated the pressure is now on Wilson and Wood to perform until the Magpies record signing returns to action.

He told Sky Sports News: “He shows his ability when he plays.  You look at the disallowed goal he scored against Liverpool, even though it wasn’t given, the ability he’s got is fantastic.  I earmarked this guy when the takeover happened at Newcastle, saying he could be a superstar signing.

“Of course, they’ve got Callum Wilson, but he struggles to stay fit, touch wood he manages to stay fit for the whole season from now on because he’s a fantastic player and could step up for the England team for the World Cup as well.

“It’s a huge blow for not only Newcastle, but for the player himself.  To come at such a high price tag, with a lot of pressure, going into a huge football club, he’s someone Newcastle need.  But they need to deal with it with Callum Wilson, Chris Wood as well, he can come off the bench.  He does a great job, albeit he doesn’t score as many as Newcastle would like.

“But yeah, I am really disappointed for the play himself and for Newcastle.”