What Alexander Isak told Eddie Howe to provoke Newcastle United substitution v Wolves

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Alexander Isak lasted 68 minutes on his return to Newcastle United’s starting XI.

Alexander Isak came up trumps for Newcastle United on his return to the starting XI against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Swede made only his seventh Magpies start since his £60million club-record move from Real Sociedad last summer, but continued his impressive form of four Premier League goals in just 532 minutes.

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Selected ahead of Callum Wilson, who battled illness in the build-up to the game, Isak opened the scoring at St James’ Park when he headed Kieran Trippier’s free-kick into the bottom left corner in the 26th minute.

It was a reward for an extremely lively display, where the 23-year-old showcased his pace and technical attributes to leave supporters raving.

Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Given Isak has had a restricted amount of appearances because of an early-season thigh injury, Eddie Howe is still proceeding with caution when it comes to the striker’s fitness.

And the Magpies’ head coach revealed after the game the thinking behind Isak’s pre-meditated substitution. The former Borussia Dortmund was replaced by Wilson in the 68th minute.

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“The plan today was ‘run yourself into the ground until you can no longer run’,” Howe said. “He put his hand up and said, ‘That’s me done’, and that’s the type of performance I want from him. I’m really excited for what Alex can be for us now, and in the future.

“It’s very difficult to do it instantly (after signing). Sometimes, you need to get to know your environment and you need to feel comfortable in your environment. You need to be 100 per cent right to give your best on a consistent basis.

“I think Alex has done very well in the short time he’s been with us. It’s been disrupted by injury, but we hope he’s behind those concerns and we can build his fitness up a bit.”

Alexander Isak of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. James Park on March 12, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)Alexander Isak of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. James Park on March 12, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Alexander Isak of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. James Park on March 12, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

There’s no denying that Isak has endured a frustrating start to life on Tyneside after missing three months of the campaign through injury.

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But as Isak continues to build his way to full fitness, Howe believes the player has “everything” to succeed in black and white.

“Everything that a centre-forward needs, I think he has,” said Howe. “He has pace, technique, strength, and then the goal pleases me because it’s not necessarily his trademark, but he needs to score all different types of goals.

“It was a really good ball in, and a really good header. I think he’s capable of great things – it’s up to us now to keep him in a good place and feed him in the right areas.”

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