Steve Bruce Oxford press conference: ‘Wonderful opportunity’ for first FA Cup fifth round under Ashley
Steve Bruce has taken his pre Oxford press conference.
The NUFC Head Coach speaking ahead of Saturday’s game.
Steve Bruce talking to journalists on Friday morning as he prepares to face League One opposition, the chance to take NUFC into the FA Cup fifth round for the very first time in Mike Ashley’s long and painful near 13 year reign.
This FA Cup ‘run’ kicked off with an abject second-half performance at spotland which almost saw an embarrassing defeat to Rochdale, despite having led 1-0 and dominating the first-half.
Steve Bruce admits that whilst you obviously have got to ‘respect’ Oxford United, to have a League One club at home is a ‘wonderful opportunity’ to visit the fifth round for the first time under Mike Ashley.
Mixed news on the fitness front, with Saint-Maximin and Joelinton set to play, but Krafth and Lejeune having now joined Carroll and the rest on the injury list.
Steve Bruce also told Sky Sports earlier today, that as well as Bentaleb, he hopes Valentino Lazaro will also be playing on Saturday assuming the paperwork is sorted on time.
“We have got to respect Oxford for what they are and as we have seen last night in the FA Cup [Tranmere beating Watford], we must guard against that, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to get through [to the fifth round].
“I’ve just been told it’s a full house which is quite remarkable.
“We’ve got 52,000 which is unbelievable so I’ll play as strong as I can and try to get into the next round.
“Who knows, can we go and have a cup run? We’ve got a great opportunity.”
On injuries/fitness for Oxford match:
“Joelinton is fine, he got a kick on his ankle so we think he’s going to be OK.
Saturday might be too quick for Andy Carroll but Saint-Maximin will be involved. It would have been too much to ask him to play twice last week so he will be in contention as well.
“Krafth is going to miss the next six weeks. He battled on the other night but it was a bad challenge on him. He’s done his ankle ligaments.
“Lejeune picked up a groin injury scoring either the first or the second goal.”
On the NUFC team spirit:
“You can’t fault them for their effort and they don’t give up.
“We’ve ground out a couple of results that have shocked people but we’ll take it.
“Because of their attitude and the hard work they put in, maybe they deserve it.”
On the upcoming February break:
“That two week break [after Norwich] is really important to us.
“We’ve still got too many carrying knocks and when they’re coming back the last thing you want to be doing is playing three games in a week.
“Fair play to the squad, they’ve stuck at it.”
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