Newcastle United star set to start on bench v Nottingham Forest after missing training

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Alexander Isak is set to start ahead of Callum Wilson against Nottingham Forest.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson admits Alexander Isak’s electric performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers will likely keep him on the substitutes bench at Nottingham Forest on Friday night.

Isak started ahead of Wilson last Sunday after the Magpies’ No.9 almost missed the 2-1 win through illness. The Swede opened the scoring in the first-half before Miguel Almiron scored a winner to cancel out Hwang Hee-chan’s equaliser.

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“It was important we got back to winning ways,” Wilson told the BBC Footballer’s Football Podcast. “We’ve had a few weeks of disappointment, a lot of draws. It was a good win.”

Isak for Wilson was one of five changes from Eddie Howe as Jacob Murphy, Allan Saint-Maximin, Joe Willock and Fabian Schar replaced Almiron, Anthony Gordon, Joelinton and Jamaal Lascelles in the starting XI.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Wilson didn’t train in the build-up to Wolves fixture, and admits to missing training in the week leading to tomorrow’s visit to the City Ground.

The 31-year-old continued: “We made five changes. I think there were injuries, people like that myself that shouldn’t have really been on the bench but that’s what I do for the cause!

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“For me, I’ve not trained in over a week now so we need someone. That’s why we’ve brought him [Alex Isak] in to come into the team, not let it hamper when anyone comes out of the team.

“That’s what we’re trying to build here, we’re trying to get players that are just as good as each other. It’s competition first and foremost but the team’s still performing.

“It was a great performance for him. As a striker, you like ‘yep, we need him to score today’ but as someone who plays in that position... it’s going to take me an extra week to get back in!

“But you’ve got to believe in your ability, the competition is healthy as well. He’s a good player. Let it keep happening. I’ll be putting the pressure on and so will he. That will bring the best out of each other.

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Newcastle United attacking pair Alexander Isak (left) and Callum Wilson (right). (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United attacking pair Alexander Isak (left) and Callum Wilson (right). (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United attacking pair Alexander Isak (left) and Callum Wilson (right). (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“Before that, when I didn’t have competition, you can sometimes become a bit complacent. Even though you’re not playing as well, you know you’re going to play because there is no one else.

“I had to almost miss the game, so I wasn’t able to start. It was one of those things. He come in, performed and took his opportunity. Fair play to him.”

Wilson added: “When he’s come on, he’s played well. I’d be the first person to admit that. I’m not deluded and think I’ll keep playing. If you’re not performing on the pitch, no matter what position you are in our team, someone else will come in and replace you.

“Ultimately, it has taken an illness for that to happen, and he’s come in and took his opportunity. There are people who think that should have happened weeks ago but football is not like that. It’s down to me now to get back into the team, which is something I’m more than happy and capable of doing.”

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