Soccer-Newcastle boss Howe considering dropping Joelinton after drink-driving charge

FILE PHOTO: Carabao Cup - Round of 16 - Newcastle United v AFC Bournemouth

(Reuters) - Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe said he was "not 100% sure" if he would include Joelinton in his squad for Sunday's Premier League home game against Fulham after the midfielder was charged with drink-driving.

Northumbria Police charged Joelinton with "driving whilst above the prescribed limit for alcohol" after he was stopped in the early hours of Thursday. The Brazilian is due to appear in court at the end of January.

Howe, whose team are third in the league, said the club will deal with the matter internally and educate the 26-year-old about the situation.

"I'm going to have to reflect and analyse that. I'll make a decision closer to the game, in consultation with him. I'm not 100% sure," Howe told reporters on Friday when asked about Joelinton's potential involvement in the game.

"It came very much as a shock. Difficult situation. Jo was very upset yesterday and I think he knows the seriousness of the situation. Obviously, I can't say too much out of respect for the case but I think he understands his responsibilities.

"We're in a position now where we are supporting him but we also understand the seriousness of the situation."

Joelinton has played 21 matches for Newcastle this season, scoring three goals -- including one in their 2-0 win over Leicester City in the last game which sealed them a spot in the League Cup semi-finals.

Howe said that striker Callum Wilson and forward Alexander Isak could start together for the game against Fulham. Wilson started in a front three in the last game before Isak replaced him in the 78th minute.

"Two outstanding players in their own right. The other day I decided to replace Callum because of his bad illness," Howe said.

"Alex has responded very well. He's trained well this week. We have to be very careful with him because of the length of time he was out and the type of injury he had.

"He's done all the work, looked in good condition, looks confident and wants to be involved."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)