Why Alexander Isak was withdrawn at half-time during Newcastle United’s defeat at Sheffield Wednesday

Newcastle United club-record signing Alexander Isak. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)Newcastle United club-record signing Alexander Isak. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Newcastle United club-record signing Alexander Isak. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Alexander Isak got through 45 minutes during his Newcastle United comeback.

Eddie Howe has confirmed that Alexander Isak’s half-time substitution against Sheffield Wednesday was pre-planned.

The 23-year-old made his Newcastle United comeback at Hillsborough as he and his teammates exited the FA Cup to League One opposition for the second successive season.

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Isak, the club’s record signing at £60million, looked sharp on his first outing since mid-September, though perhaps should have got on the scoresheet.

Owls goalkeeper Cameron Dawson twice denied the Swedish striker, first from a close-range header and then a shot from inside the box.

He was replaced by Chris Wood at the break, and Howe confirmed after the match that the substitution was pre-planned.

Newcastle United club-record signing Alexander Isak. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)Newcastle United club-record signing Alexander Isak. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Newcastle United club-record signing Alexander Isak. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“He’s fine,” Howe said. That was the plan to play 45. We wanted him to warm up and give him every chance to play his best football for that 45 minutes.

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“I thought he did very well, he was lively and had chances to score.”

Wood skied a golden opportunity in the closing stages to force a replay at St James’ Park in 10 days’ time.

United fell behind 2-0 following Josh Windass’ brace before Bruno Guimaraes pulled a goal back. Howe’s men, however, were unable to find an equaliser.

Howe said: “Bitterly disappointed to go out, I thought the performance was OK.

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“We created enough chances to win the tie and their goalkeeper made a number of great saves but we weren’t clinical enough when those presentable opportunities were there. We have to accept the defeat and Sheffield Wednesday battled for everything, as we did, but it wasn’t to be.

“We haven’t experienced defeat a lot this season and it’s very painful, you don’t want to lose any game. We were determined to do well in this competition but it wasn’t to be and there’s always things to learn.

“We created chances tonight similar to the Leeds game that we didn’t win where we will kick ourselves when we look back at some of those moments and think how we didn’t score.”

Howe made eight changes for the loss against Darren Moore’s side with Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final tie against Leicester City quickly on the horizon.

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