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Steve Bruce takes massive risks with two injured Newcastle United players – Now anxious wait

6 days ago
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If anybody wonders why Newcastle United have so many long-term injuries under Steve Bruce, Saturday night was a perfect illustration of why this is the case.

Some injuries there is nothing you could have done about them, to prevent.

However, Steve Bruce has regularly shown that he is willing to take risks, often / usually unnecessarily, with his players. In the main this has been rushing them back from injury too soon, or overplaying certain players and increasing the risk of injury, against Man Utd we saw two in another category.

Speaking after Saturday’s hammering, Steve Bruce revealed that Isaac Hayden hurt his hamstring before half-time.

Yet the NUFC head coach insisted on still sending him out for the second-half.

It was clear Hayden wasn’t comfortable / moving well and only four minutes after the break, Steve Bruce accepted he did have to sub the midfielder. Has that decision made the injury so much worse?

Steve Bruce on Isaac Hayden injury:

“Unfortunately he nicked a hamstring in the first-half, just before half-time.

“We thought he was going to be OK for the second but obviously he wasn’t.”

The most ridiculous one of all though, came midway through the second half.

Karl Darlow diving at the feet of Marcus Rashford and very much coming off worse.

After lengthy treatment and with Karl Darlow still limping badly, Newcastle fans watching from home couldn’t believe that Steve Bruce left him on the pitch.

A few minutes finally Steve Bruce realised he would have to bring the keeper off as the players couldn’t pass the ball back to him and his movement was badly hampered. However, to the astonishment of everybody watching, Bruce instead brought Fraser on in the 72nd minute for Joelinton, leaving Darlow still hobbling round his area.

Karl Darlow could do nothing about Fernandes’ goal to make it 2-1 on 86 minutes and now with Newcastle on their way to defeat, at last the injured keeper was to be taken off as the board went up again. Nothing of the sort, Steve Bruce bizarrely keeping the clearly injured keeper on the pitch, instead bringing Almiron on for Hendrick.

All the subs used up, it meant in total Darlow played on for over half an hour including added time, after getting the injury.

Steve Bruce when asked about the injured goalkeeper, claimed that Karl Darlow ‘thought he was ok’, he clearly wasn’t! Any fool could see that…

Mark Gillespie has done well so far in the League Cup matches and no reason at all why he couldn’t have been subbed on. More importantly, especially with Martin Dubravka now looking set to be out until December or longer, Bruce absolutely had to protect Karl Darlow and bring him off, to try and prevent the injury becoming any worse.

It defies belief, everybody watching could see Darlow was not ‘ok’ and it is abdicating responsibility by the head coach, he is the one in charge and should have swiftly subbed the goalkeeper, once it became apparent he wasn’t going to be alright.

What a nightmare it could be if now Karl Darlow ends up long-term injured due to Bruce’s poor judgement.

Steve Bruce on the Karl Darlow injury:

“He thought he was ok and I think if you look at the goals, even a fit goalkeeper wouldn’t have saved them.

“We just hope he is ok.

“It is that horrible rule again where we’ve said, if the linesman puts his flag up a little bit quicker, I don’t know if he is offside of not, but that’s the sort of situation what we’re talking about, the linesman keeps his flag down and he [Darlow] has had to come out and go at somebody’s feet.

“So we hope he is not too bad, he’s a bit sore in the dressing room at the moment, but it was one of them fine margin ones.

“If a linesman had put his flag up quicker, maybe it might not have happened.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4 – Saturday 17 October 8pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Shaw OG 2

Man Utd:

Maguire 23, Fernandes 86, Wan-Bissaka 90, Rashford 90+6

Stats in brackets are from half-time:

Possession was Man Utd 64% (64%), Newcastle 36% (36%)

Total shots were Man Utd 28 (13) Newcastle 7 (2)

Shots on target were Man Utd 14 (6) Newcastle 4 (2)

Corners were Man Utd 7 (5) Newcastle 0 (0)

Crowd: 00,000

Referee: Craig Pawson

Newcastle United team v Manchester United:

Darlow, Krafth, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis, Shelvey, Hayden (Schar 49), Hendrick (Almiron 88), Joelinton (Fraser 72), Wilson, Saint-Maximin

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Carroll, Manquillo, Murphy

(Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains how his weakened team hammered Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce excuses are worse than his tactics after Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4 – Read HERE)

(Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 4 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat – Read HERE)

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