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Steve Bruce calls off final Newcastle pre-season friendly in fear of picking up more injuries

3 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce took his Newcastle United team to Middlesbrough on Tuesday for the third friendly of pre-season.

United on the end of a 5-1 hammering by a team that were fighting relegation from the Championship last season.

Earlier today (Thursday), Newcastle United announced that the return game against Middlesbrough on Monday at the NUFC training ground was now cancelled, no explanation given. It would have been the fifth and final friendly of Newcastle’s pre-season.

Cynics suggested the cancellation was due to Steve Bruce not fancying another hammering.

However, now Neil Warnock has made public the reason why.

The Middlesbrough boss saying that Monday’s friendly has been called off due to a fear of more injuries, Warnock saying Steve Bruce has seven players out injured.

This afternoon Newcastle United published a gallery of the NUFC squad training this morning.

We already knew that Dubravka and Schar are out injured for the opening weeks / months of the season.

Fabian Schar was pictured seemingly training on his own, so no doubt he is a third player we can count as one of the seven out through injury.

Matty Longstaff has a thigh injury and has missed the last two friendlies and not seen in training today, so he’s a fourth presumably.

Jonjo Shelvey was an unexplained absentee on Tuesday and not seen in training today, so sadly I think we can mark him down as a fifth of the seven.

As for numbers six and seven on the injured list, I’m afraid the most likely candidates appear to be Paul Dummett and Ciaran Clark. The pair are long-term out and haven’t played since January and February respectively, they have both featured in all three friendlies but weren’t pictured in the gallery released today and so look very likely to have picked up further injuries.

Not a great look when you are having to cancel pre-season games that are there to get players fit and ready, due to fear of injury. Particularly when Joelinton and Muto trained for the first time today after having missed the entire pre-season (no explanation from the club), you would think Steve Bruce would want as many games as possible for they and all the new imminent signings to play in…

Neil Warnock quoted by The Gazette:

“We just both decided that we’d had enough.

“That [5-1] game [on Tuesday] was a really competitive game.

“We were going to do the under-23s and give the players who haven’t had many minutes a run-out against their first team.

“But poor old Steve has got about seven injuries I think now for the Stoke City game, so it’s just not worth the risk of getting any more injuries.”

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