'Great sign' - Eddie Howe should repeat bold Newcastle United tactic in final three games

Eddie Howe rolled the dice and was rewarded for his gamble during Saturday's rout of Burnley. The Newcastle United boss surprised many by opting for both Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak from the outset at Turf Moor, with both getting on the scoresheet.

But perhaps it shouldn't have came as such a shock given the Newcastle boss was waxing lyrical over the attacking's duo partnership in the closing stages of the win over Sheffield United just one week earlier.

“It was great to see Alex link with Callum at the end, in the latter stages of the game,” Howe said after the 5-1 victory at St James' Park. “It was really good to see both of them passing to each other, having that synergy and understanding with each other, so it was a really good day for both players.

“To see him and Alex link in the way they did, and see how threatening they were on the pitch together was a great sign for us.”

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Wilson appears hell-bent on securing a spot on the plane to Germany this summer as Gareth Southgate plots who will make his 26-man squad. The England boss was in attendance at Burnley on Saturday and therefore able to witness a solid display from the 32-year-old forward, who found the net for the second week running.

Wilson is certainly up against it having missed 26 games of football this season. Coupled with the fact Ollie Watkins and Dominic Solanke have been in fine form in recent months, the Newcastle hitman needs to end the season with a flourish to stand any chance of a late call from the Three Lions chief.

Should the forward manage to stay injury free between now and the end of the campaign, it would be pleasing to see Howe repeat his tactic of using both Wilson and Isak together from the start of games. The latter has proven time and time again that he can perform across any attacking position, whether it be through the middle, on the wing or sitting in behind as a second striker.

With Jacob Murphy putting in a man of the match display against Burnley and Anthony Gordon continuing his fine form while out on the left, Howe has the freedom to use Isak as a central option behind the prolific Wilson.

With only three games to go, Europe qualification looking likely and the players clearly relishing being used together, time for Howe to stick with his bold gamble against Brighton, Manchester United and Brentford.

“It’s different," Wilson said of playing alongside his strike partner. "It gives the team a different dynamic and an extra outlet, but it brings its downsides when defending because we’re a man down in midfield,"

“We have to work hard for the team. We know if we want to play with each other that we’ll have to do the other side of it as well.”