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Steve Bruce pre-Southampton press conference: Indicates at least five set to be unavailable to start game

2 months ago
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Steve Bruce has taken his pre-Southampton press conference.

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

Due to fixtures coming thick and fast, the Southampton press conference was actually done on Thursday night at Bramall Lane.

The club and media only making public now though what was said.

Not surprisingly, Steve Bruce was in a good mood but details a bit thin on player availability for Sunday, with it being the immediate aftermath of the Sheffield United match.

However, with Allan Saint-Maximin clearly in some pain with an ankle injury, it looks clear he will miss Southampton.

Andy Carroll is set for a place on the bench I’m guessing at best, Steve Bruce saying he would watch how it went in training but ‘It might be asking too much (to start against Southampton) but I will see how he is.’

With Matt Ritchie, Florian Lejeune and Jamaal Lejeune all continuing to be unavailable, it looks like at lasts five ruled out of the starting line-up.

As for others, no doubt the Head Coach will need to be careful and see who is in decent shape, as too much risk playing anybody who might then break down and miss this busy upcoming festive period.

Steve Bruce asked what he has done to get the players’ trust?:

“Well that certainly comes with a few results.

“When you get a couple of results against big teams, then they are prepared to run a million miles and cover the distances like they have covered.

“They have bought into what we are trying to do.

“We still have a long way to go.

“We still have to be a little bit more fluid at the top end of the pitch, for sure.

“But we will keep working on that.

“We have a good opportunity in these coming matches, playing teams who are in and around us, with four of the next six at home…a wonderful opportunity.

“When I look through Southampton’s squad they have some very good players, so it will be a hard challenge again.”

Importance of Andy Carroll to Newcastle?:

“Andy Carroll can be hugely important.

“We need to make sure we look after him.

“He had been performing in training for the past four or five weeks before he then unfortunately nicked a little rib muscle, which is always painful.

“When that was okay, he was ready to go.

Andy has a physicality and a presence about him.

“He is also a very, very good player when he is right and gives everybody a lift.

“He will be a big asset to us if he stays well, that is the big thing for me and the medical staff.

“To keep him right because if he is right then he will be a handful for anybody.

“We will see how Andy recovers and assess him on Saturday (ahead of Southampton on Sunday).

“It might be asking too much (to start against Southampton) but I will see how he is.”

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