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Steve Bruce pre-Palace press conference: On Hodgson, fitness/injuries and missing your best players

10 months ago
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Steve Bruce has taken his pre-Crystal Palace press conference.

The NUFC Head Coach speaking ahead of Saturday’s game.

Steve Bruce talking to journalists on Friday morning ahead of training.

The Head Coach saying he will definitely be missing five players (Clark, Ritchie, Lascelles, Saint-Maximin and Ki) for tomorrow but hopes Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron will be available.

The Head Coach finds himself up against a team playing almost as negatively and defensively as he has Newcastle playing.

Palace also relying on a disciplined defence and then sneaking the odd goal from minimal chances at the other end.

Steve Bruce says that: ‘It’s always important that your home form stacks up and we haven’t lost since the first game of the season.’

That is true of course but on the other hand the statistics say that Newcastle have only won three of nine games (all competitions) at home and two of those were very lucky, as they were behind to both Bournemouth and Southampton, who had chances to finish the game off, with Bruce’s negative tactics having invited the opposition to dominate the games and score first.

Interesting to see how the two teams are set out tomorrow and who, if anybody, shows attacking intent.

A big win for either club if they can manage it.

On Roy Hodgson:

“I’ve got wonderful respect for him.

“He’s been there, done it and still has that same enthusiasm and drive.

“If you’ve still got it at that age, why not use it?

“Year in, year out he does fantastically well and that’s why he’s still going.”

Home form:

“It’s always important that your home form stacks up and we haven’t lost since the first game of the season.

“We’ve given ourselves a good opportunity going into the Christmas period.

“Hopefully we can get off to a good start and have a positive result against Palace.”

On Burnley defeat:

“You always miss your good players.

“Especially at the top end of the pitch with Almiron and Saint-Maximin missing, of course we were going to be a bit hampered.

Last week we certainly missed them and sometimes you become a better player when you’re not playing.”

On injuries/fitness:

“Almiron and Shelvey have a chance.

“They trained yesterday. We haven’t seen them yet today but they seemed OK.

“It’s still too early for Saint-Maximin, Ki and Clark.

“Ritchie and Lascelles aren’t there either.

“I wouldn’t take a risk (with Almiron and/or Shelvey) if I didn’t think they were right.

“The risk would have been last week so it has let them recover.

“With a muscle injury you’re always on edge but I think they’ve done enough rehabilitation work in the gym this week to make sure they are OK.

“I understand Almiron hasn’t scored and having spoken to a lot of people about last season, he lit it up and gave us impetus.

“That hasn’t changed in my view.

“We would love him to score, of course we would, but he gives us something…offers a threat.”

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