Newcastle United’s record signing had his best game for the Magpies on Sunday against Wolves, coming off the back of Eddie Howe’s comments suggesting the Swede wasn’t fit enough to play a full 90 minutes.
Howe set tongues wagging on Friday when he mentioned in his press conference that he didn’t think his £63million striker was ready to play 90 minutes for Newcastle despite him being back from injury for a couple of months now.
The Newcastle gaffer moved to clarify his words in his post-match presser yesterday, saying (via The Chronicle): “I need to clear this up. It was fit to play 90 minutes how I want him to play – and how I demand from my players.”
Isak agreed with Howe’s comments on his fitness
This sentiment was echoed by Isak himself who told The Chronicle: “I don’t know. Obviously, I can get fitter but you don’t always have to play 90 minutes.
“I think against Wolves I played almost 70 minutes. I emptied myself, that’s enough then you get fresh legs coming in and have an impact like they did on Sunday. That is something that we have in this team. It’s really important.”
I’m absolutely fine with Isak only playing 70 minutes a game for the foreseeable future if that’s what we’re going to get out of him during that time.
Isak was superb in everything he did on Sunday
It wasn’t just his brilliantly taken headed goal that caught the eye, but his relentless running. Allan Saint-Maximin had a field day with Isak ahead of him. Several times ASM was able to ping the ball behind the Wolves defence with confidence knowing that Isak’s pace would get him there ahead of the Wolves back line.
With the ball at his feet, Isak looked dangerous too. He had Max Kilman on toast several times as he ran into the box with the ball glued to his feet. It was nothing short of miraculous that Wolves went in at the break only one goal down.
Having Isak run himself into the ground for 70 minutes to then introduce Callum Wilson to run at tired defenders might just be the new tactic that will get Newcastle back into those coveted Champions League places,
After the win at Wolves our fate is now firmly back in our hands. We leapt over Liverpool back into fifth and are now only four points behind Tottenham with two games in hand and with Spurs still to visit St James’ Park.