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Steve Bruce has confirmed two Newcastle United players now injured after 1-1 draw with Aston Villa

2 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce sprung a surprise with his starting eleven against Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

However, instead of it being surprising changes from the team that beat 10 men Sheffield United, it was a surprise that he changed nothing.

Steve Bruce has been at pains to say that he had to guard against playing players too often and risking unnecessary injuries in this season restart.

So why go with exactly the same eleven as three days earlier? Particularly with Bruce saying in Tuesday that a number of players had felt ‘sore’ after Sunday.

Playing the same team only three days apart was even more bizarre for two other reasons.

Sunday’s win had made Newcastle all but mathematically safe from relegation, plus there is an FA Cup sixth round match this coming Sunday. Why wasn’t this priortised.

Anyway, in the second half against Aston Villa we saw first Matt Ritchie and then Isaac Hayden limp off.

After the match the club released this via the official NUFC Twitter account:

‘Steve Bruce confirms Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie were withdrawn with soft tissue injuries suffered during the game.

Says the extent of them will be assessed in the coming days.’

Newcastle didn’t even use all five subs and I don’t see the wisdom of playing ASM the full 90 minutes plus added time, as well as Almiron only taken off with a few minutes to go.

Manchester City surely should have had the full focus on it and giving other players some game time tonight. You couldn’t rest everybody but I do think certain players should have been looked after.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1  РWednesday 24 June 6pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Gayle 68

Aston Villa:

El Mohamady 83

Possession was Villa 48% Newcastle 52%

Total shots were Villa 14 Newcastle 13

Shots on target were Villa 2 Newcastle 3

Corners were Villa 9 Newcastle 6

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Rose, Hayden (Benetaleb 86), Shelvey, Ritchie (Gayle 67), Almiron (Lazaro 86), Joelinton (Carroll 64), Saint-Maximin

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Muto, Krafth, Yedlin, Schar

Crowd: 00,000

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the 1-1 draw – Read HERE)

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