Newcastle star Allan Saint-Maximin could be back to face Brentford

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe could have Allan Saint-Maximin available for Saturday's Premier League clash with Brentford.

The frontman has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury, but is back in training and could be included as the Magpies seek back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Midfielder Joelinton is available after shaking off the knee problem which reduced him to the ranks of unused substitute at Fulham last weekend.

Newcastle striker Alexander Isak (thigh) and midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (hamstring surgery) are making good progress, keeper Karl Darlow (ankle) and defender Emil Krafth (knee) are still out.

Brentford will be without captain Pontus Jansson at St James' Park due to a hamstring injury.

Keane Lewis-Potter (foot) and Christian Norgaard (Achilles) are also absent, but Bees boss Thomas Frank is set to welcome Ethan Pinnock back into the squad.

Pinnock has yet to play this season following a knee injury. The centre-back will be joined in the Brentford travelling party by Sergi Canos, who has fully recovered from a hamstring issue.

Meanwhile, Howe has put his faith in the Premier League after being offered the Newcastle job by the club's Saudi-backed owners.

Amanda Staveley's consortium, in which Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund holds an 80 per cent stake, celebrated a year in charge at St James' Park on Friday having completed its takeover amid controversy over the source of its wealth.

However, Howe, who was asked to replace Steve Bruce as head coach within weeks, was happy to accept after the Premier League's owners' and directors' test, which had until the last minute proved a significant hurdle, had been passed.

Asked on Friday if he understood why some people were and still are uncomfortable about that, the 44-year-old, who has been allowed to invest around £210million during his time on Tyneside to date, said: "Yes, I do and I understand the question.

"But for me, the directors' and owners' test ratified by the Premier League, I have to have faith in that process.

"Obviously I've been the decision-maker behind where some of that money has gone, and I've looked at it purely from a football perspective trying to recruit the best players for Newcastle."

Howe has repeatedly faced questions over the club's ownership with Amnesty International in particular expressing ongoing concerns over the Gulf state's human rights record, but has always insisted his focus must remain on football.

He said: "Everything for me is about trying to get the best out of the players that I have every single day, and hopefully that shows when we play.

"I've never veered too far from that in my management career and I think that's vitally important for me."

For all the criticism levelled at Newcastle and their fans since the takeover, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia remain strategic allies and trading partners and while Howe acknowledged that, he does not feel qualified to enter into political debate.

He said: "If I start engaging in those conversations, I go into an area where I'm not comfortable. I don't have the knowledge."

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