Callum Wilson becomes the latest Newcastle player to admit ‘we weren’t fit enough’ under previous boss Steve Bruce following the side’s disastrous start to the season
- Under Steve Bruce, Newcastle collected just three points from eight matches
- Bruce left his role in October, and was replaced by Eddie Howe in the dugout
- Callum Wilson is Newcastle’s top scorer this season with five league goals
- Newcastle are still looking for their first win, and are six points from safety
Callum Wilson says Newcastle lost ground at the start of the season because they were not fit enough for the pace of the Premier League.
The striker is the latest player to suggest the squad was not in peak condition under former boss Steve Bruce and that fitness has only improved for the arrival of Eddie Howe.
Sportsmail has reported previously how there was concern among players over training and preparation, with excessive days off a particular point of ire.
Newcastle are without a win in 14 matches this season and did not look as fit as the opposition during the opening weeks, a suspicion confirmed by Wilson.
Callum Wilson (left) believes Newcastle’s squad was not fit enough under Steve Bruce (right)
‘I’d say first game of the season, we weren’t fit enough in terms of being ready for a Premier League fixture,’ he said. ‘We weren’t fit enough and we weren’t in the right place. The pre-season is massive for the way it sets you up for the season.’
Wilson was speaking with West Ham’s Michail Antonio on the BBC’s Footballer’s Football podcast, and he added: ‘I noticed that (difference in fitness) when we played each other in the first game (West Ham won 4-2).
‘Every manager has different philosophies in terms of how to get players fit. Ours would have been different to yours, but come day one you’re hoping that you’ve put the work in and you’re in a good place.
‘Whereas in the game, it showed the longer it went on the more you overran us, which probably boiled down to not being as fit as what we should have been.
‘Obviously for lads, technique and stuff starts going out the window when you’re tired. Your concentration goes and then all of a sudden you scored a few goals within a short space of time.
‘The way the game went, it started turning into a basketball match. That didn’t suit us because of the fitness levels. You attack, we attack, you attack, by the time it’s the third attack I’m thinking, “Boy, I can’t go on that run again because I haven’t got the energy”.
‘Whereas you boys were like boom, boom, boom, keep going. That’s the difference.’
Newcastle are still looking for their first win of the season under their new boss, Eddie Howe
Wilson and Ryan Fraser played under Howe at Bournemouth, and the latter has also spoken about the impact of the new manager.
‘Before, lads would just go in after an hour of training,’ said Fraser. ‘Even after two hours now they will grab you and say, “No, we’re doing this today”.
‘The place is a lot happier. I don’t want to say anything about the previous staff, it’s disrespectful. I think everyone is seeing changes. No days off with this gaffer.’