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Steve Bruce confirms 4 Newcastle players ruled out for Bournemouth and reveals Matt Ritchie setback

1 week ago
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Matt Ritchie has now been out of action for close to 11 weeks.

After early hopes he would make a surprisingly swift comeback, reality has proved anything but.

After repeated claims Matt Ritchie was close to a comeback, Steve Bruce  has now revealed that the winger/wing-back was set to be available for West Ham, only to suffer yet another setback.

The NUFC Head Coach saying that he and his staff are ‘uneasy’ about the player’s situation now.

Elsewhere in the squad, predictably Florian Lejeune won’t be involved either, despite stepping up his time on the pitch with 71 minutes for the reserves on Monday.

Less predictably, Fabian Schar is still not ready to return. When he was injured at Chelsea, it was reported he should be back quickly but this is now a third game missing. Hopefully this international break can help get the Swiss defender and others ready to return for Villa in 17 days time.

With Sean Longstaff suspended, it means Steve Bruce will be missing at least four players on Saturday.

If Newcastle could win consecutive games for the first time this season, they could finally start to put a little bit of daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.

Steve Bruce speaking to BBC Newcastle:

“Matt Ritchie has had a bit of a setback, which we’re uneasy about.

“We thought he was fit and getting ready for the game last Saturday and, unfortunately, pulled up.

“Fabian Schar – it’s a bit early for him.

“It’s still a little bit early for Lejeune but we’re delighted with his progress.

“He has come through another week and played at Aston Villa (for the under 23s) on Monday for 70 minutes.

“Last week against West Ham, what changed the whole dynamic was we scored twice, early on.

“So, they were chasing it and leaving themselves open.

“We’ve got wide players who can exploit space in behind and down the sides and (they) did that fantastically well.”

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