Newcastle had Bruno Guimaraes back in the lineup for today’s 1-1 draw against Bournemouth. However, it was too soon for Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson. Their omission along with the surprise absence of Elliot Anderson handed Eddie Howe limited options up front.
Newcastle needed a spark as ideas in the final third were hard to come by. Anderson would have provided something different from the bench and his youthful determination was sorely missing this afternoon.
Anderson, who was not spotted in Wednesday’s training images, missed the game with what Howe described as a ‘very minor niggle’. Howe stated Elliot would be fit for the October 1st trip to Fulham. We’ll find out if his niggle impacts his availability for the Scotland U21s next week.
Howe also revealed that Wilson is very close to a return. He was not risked today but should be ready to go at Craven Cottage in two weeks. However, the situation with Saint-Maximin is a little murkier as the winger has suffered a setback.
This is what Howe said about his dynamic duo as published in The Northern Echo:
“Callum’s doing very well, we’re really pleased with his progress. He was close for today, but I think we made an early decision that it would have been too big a risk.
“So, we hope that with a bit more time, there’s a chance that the next game could be good for him.
“With Allan, it’s slightly different. He’s had a very minor setback with the physios, so whether or not he’ll be fit after the international break is slightly unclear.
“It’s certainly not long-term, but it’s not clear whether he’ll be fit for our next game yet.”
The injuries to Guimaraes, Wilson, and Saint-Maximin have shown that Newcastle lack strength in depth. Their absences have likely cost valuable points at St. James’ Park. Though they should all be ready to go for the packed October schedule.