Kieran Trippier: Callum Wilson embodies the competitive 'character' of Newcastle

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Newcastle star Callum Wilson has been lauded by Kieran Trippier for his "professionalism" and "character" following an impressive performance in April. The Magpies striker bounced back from a challenging period, which included being snubbed by the England national team, and scored eight goals in seven appearances for Newcastle in April. This run of form took his goal tally to 15 for the season, his highest ever in the Premier League, with Newcastle still having five games left to play in their bid for Champions League qualification. In Sunday's game against Southampton, Wilson was brought on as a substitute at half-time when Newcastle were trailing 1-0. He went on to score twice and secure a 3-1 win for the team. Newcastle has the luxury of having two in-form strikers in Wilson and Alexander Isak, who have the second and third best goal-to-minute ratios in the Premier League this season after Manchester City's Erling Haaland. However, this creates a selection dilemma for head coach Eddie Howe. "I've seen competition when I've played at different clubs but that's what you need," said Trippier. "Ultimately the direction we want to go in you need competition, Wils has shown great professionalism when he's not played and when Alex has played and vice-versa, they both have and it's healthy competition. "The one thing we have in this group is real strong togetherness so whoever is playing, there's no faces down, everybody is ready because we know how important the subs are." Wilson had a strong start to the season, with his performance in October earning him a call-up to the England World Cup squad in Qatar during the winter. After the tournament, his form declined, and he went through a challenging spell in front of goal, scoring just one goal in 15 matches for Newcastle. However, Trippier believes that the unconventional mid-season World Cup scheduling impacted Wilson's form, as well as his own. "[Wilson] has shown great character to come back certainly after the international break where he didn't come away with England [in March] and that was a good time for him to reflect and rest," Trippier added. "The goals speak for themselves after that but I can't fault his professionalism. "We need players to come off the bench and impact the game. We've seen throughout the season that the subs have been unbelievable and everybody feels valued which is so important and we're all on the same page."

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