Steve Bruce on Lascelles and Longstaff brothers absence and forced to bring 4 or 5 young players into squad
Steve Bruce has been talking ahead of next weekend’s Premier League restart against Sheffield United.
After Tuesday’s win over Middlesbrough, Newcastle played a second friendly on Saturday, beating Hull 2-0.
Steve Bruce says that to win again was nice but that not picking up injuries was the ‘vitally important’ thing.
There are 18 Newcastle players (see HERE) who have been able to take part in both friendlies.
As for the rest of the squad, Andy Carroll wasn’t available for Middlesbrough but did get a short run out against Hull, so maybe he will make the bench against Sheffield United.
Christian Atsu and Jamaal Lascelles played against Middlesbrough but were missing yesterday. No news on why Atsu missed but Steve Bruce explained the NUFC captain was busy with a new baby boy arriving.
That leaves six of the squad who haven’t made either friendly: Dwight Gayle, Ciaran Clark, Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Rob Elliot and Paul Dummett.
Steve Bruce has confirmed that the Longstaff brothers have both had injuries and hopes they will return to training this coming week. However, surely they won’t be considered to start next Sunday.
With injuries/fitness problems and so many games ahead four in the first 15 days and up to 12 in total in 6 weeks), Steve Bruce explains: ‘so that is why we have made the decision to bring the four or five young boys into the squad.’
(Under-21 players are eligible over and above the limit of 25 players per squad. For the 2018/19 campaign Under-21 players will have been born on or after 1 January 1998.)
Steve Bruce thinks it is a ‘crying shame’ that Newcastle fans won’t be able to go to games but that the return of football i ‘Something to look forward to for supporters and of course for everybody in their mental state.’
Here’s hoping that performances and results will prove to be especially good for all of our mental states, strange and interesting times ahead.
Steve Bruce talking to NUFC TV:
“Always nice to win but the good thing is that everybody has come through it ok, I think that is vitally important.
“We have picked up one or two (injuries) in the week, the Longstaff brothers in particular, but hopefully they will be joining us Monday or Tuesday.
“So all in all, a good workout, and it gets us ready for what lies ahead.
“Defending set-pieces we will have to be a bit better because that is where they (Hull) caused us a threat.
“The squad is as healthy as what it can be and of course with the amount of games, I can’t stress enough that we are going to need all the quad. Hence why we are bringing in four or five younger players to come and train with us, to make the numbers up.
“Once the competition starts, we will need…it’s recovery and training for the other ones, so that is why we have made the decision to bring the four or five young boys into the squad.”
‘No Jamaal Lascelles today?’
“No, Jamaal, I think everything is ok.
“He’s had, I believe, a little boy. I believe that’s the case, a boy, a baby anyway. So I believe all is well and congratulations to him and his family.”
‘The season getting really close now’
“I think we need it, I think we all need it.
“There’s only certain training [you can do], no denying though it is strange times ahead.
“When you see an empty St James Park it is barely recognisable.
“Something to look forward to for supporters and of course for everybody in their mental state.
“Although by the fixture schedule, everybody will be sick to death of football when it gets started.
“It is a crying shame that they [fans] can’t be here but it is the second best thing.
“They will be able to cheer on the lads from TV or laptop, or whatever they are using.
“Then let’s hope the world comes back to a more good place and we can get the supporters back.
“Because it has proved to me anyway just how much we miss them.”
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