Callum Wilson has confirmed his interview with talkSPORT where he said he wants to be England’s No.2 striker at the World Cup with two goals against Aston Villa.
The Magpies star scored two and helped create another, all in front of Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate at St James’ Park as he claimed a seat on the plane to Qatar.
Wilson gave the hosts a half-time lead from the penalty spot, after the game was delayed ten minutes when Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez deteriorated in a header clash with his own centre-back Tyrone Mings.
The kick came in the sixth minute of added time at the end of half-time due to Martinez being injured – with the keeper replaced by Robin Olsen – after Ashley Young was penalized for the handball.
Wilson scored for offside before doubling Newcastle’s second-half lead with a powerful header to complete a nice team move.
A short corner routine saw Miguel Almiron play a neat brace with Kieran Trippier, with the England full-back then sending a perfect cross into the box for Wilson to head on.
He was also involved in the Magpies’ third, with Wilson’s first shot saved by Olsen only for the substitute keeper to hand the ball straight to Joelinton who went home.
On form, Almiron made it four with a thunderbolt – his seventh goal of the season and fifth in his last four games – and Wilson came close to a hat-trick when he shook the bar with a late header.
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The win means Eddie Howe’s men continue their quest for a stunning top four, as three points against the Villans – in interim coach Aaron Danks’ last game in charge before Unai Emery took over relay – see Newcastle stay in fourth place.
And another impressive performance from Wilson will surely have given Southgate food for thought as he begins to select his World Cup squad.
Wilson spoke to talkSPORT ahead of the Villa game and said he was “100 per cent committed” to convincing the England manager to pick him for Qatar.
“I think for me it’s about focusing on Newcastle, not just on the goal but on my overall performance, and hopefully that will then get the international manager’s attention,” said the forward. .
“We know Harry [Kane] is going to start, it’s who can then replace him if he needs to rest or if he gets injured, God forbid. If something like this were to happen, I would support myself so I could take over.
“I have to show that week after week at Newcastle I have a few games to do that, and hopefully I’ll be in Qatar and can watch it from behind the scenes and if not on the pitch rather than watching it at home. television.
“It’s probably my last opportunity to play in a World Cup if I ever get there, so fingers crossed keep working hard, one game at a time.
“In the end, if I didn’t succeed, I wouldn’t be discouraged but I feel that I have an opportunity in front of me and why not seize it if it is there?
“I don’t want to look back in my career and think that there was some sort of World Cup within my grasp and I didn’t give it my all or didn’t fully commit to it.
“So for me, I’m 100% committed to it.”
Surely he didn’t hurt himself.
And he certainly has the backing of Tony Cascarino, the talkSPORT host and former Republic of Ireland striker insisting the Newcastle star is England’s most natural understudy for captain Kane.
“Callum Wilson is the one I would take,” Cascarino said at the Weekend Sports Breakfast.
“I think he’s just slightly different, obviously Tammy Abraham and Ivan Toney are a lot bigger in their presence, but Wilson is so direct.
“I think he’s a better finisher, he’s a real natural finisher, Callum Wilson. He’s explosive.
“It’s always the same argument against Wilson – the injuries. But every time he’s come back, he’s been superb. He really is a player who should be playing Champions League football.
“So if Harry Kane, OK, he could still play if he lost his form, but if his form is that bad in the World Cup, Callum Wilson is the one, for me, who can play Kane.”