Eddie Howe has discussed the prospect of a strike partnership between Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak at Newcastle, ahead of the club’s clash with Fulham.
Newcastle host Fulham in the Premier League this weekend as the Magpies look to continue their push for Champions League football.
Howe’s side have been boosted with the return of Alexander Isak from injury, with the club-record signing making his first appearance since September during the FA Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
Isak came on as a substitute for Wilson during the 2-0 win over Leicester on Tuesday evening and the two forwards have not featured in the same team this season due to injuries. However, Howe believes a partnership between the duo is an option for Newcastle moving forward.
“Of course [that is an option],” he told his pre-match press conference.
“I have to evaluate every game and situation; you might want two attackers on the pitch but you don’t want to damage the balance of the team. They are two outstanding players.
“I decided to replace Callum against Leicester as we nurse him back from illness; he did well, Alex did well. Both are doing well.
🗣️ “He’s responded very well. He’s trained well, we have to be very careful with him. He’s done all the work and he looks in good condition.”
Eddie Howe on the fitness and sharpness of Alexander Isak. 🇸🇪 pic.twitter.com/mLG1qdVHc6
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 13, 2023
“Alex has trained well off the back of that cameo this week [he played over 10 minutes against Leicester]. We have to be careful with him, just with the length of time he had out and the type of injury. He’s keen to be involved but we need him in the long-term.”
Newcastle take on a Fulham team in fine form this weekend, with the Cottagers having climbed to sixth in the Premier League table after four consecutive wins.
Howe is expecting a tough test against the west Londoners, who beat Chelsea in midweek to continue their impressive run of results.
“They are very much in good form. Marco has done very well with the team. I’m impressed with the style of play. They are getting results as a cohesive team unit, with a lot of good football. They’ve got dangerous attacking players in form.
“They are going to be a good test of our defensive capabilities.”
Howe also discussed the situation surrounding Joelinton, who has been charged with drink-driving after being stopped by police in the early hours of Thursday morning. The 26-year-old will appear before magistrates on 26 January and Howe confirmed the matter would be dealt with internally.
“It will be dealt with internally,” he said. “Looking at Joe as a person; from day one, he has been very professional, he is hugely passionate about his career and the club.
“I was surprised by what happened. We will back him and support him while also educating and helping him. He is young, everyone makes mistakes. It is important we don’t overreact.”