Steve Bruce has 5 Newcastle players missing for Fulham, plus 3 late fitness checks, 1 back
Steve Bruce has been talking to journalists ahead of Sunday afternoon’s game at Craven Cottage against Fulham.
Newcastle having struggled to a 1-0 win over one already relegated team in Sheffield United, now face another.
Steve Bruce keen to improve a shocking record of only six wins in the last twenty eight Newcastle United matches.
A congested picture for those clubs just above the three relegated and detached at the very bottom. Depending on all the relevant results on Sunday, Newcastle could finish anywhere between twelfth and seventeenth.
When it comes to team selection to hopefully bring about that victory, Steve Bruce has given a Friday update on fitness and availability.
Callum Wilson, Karl Darlow, Jamaal Lascelles, Ryan Fraser and Isaac Hayden are all definitely out of Sunday’s match and busy getting themselves right for next season.
The Newcastle United Head Coach reminding us that the positive is that Fabian Schar is now free from suspension, no doubt desperate to get a game of first team football in, ahead of preparing for the Euro 2020 finals with Switzerland.
On Wednesday we saw a number of injury concerns as the match went on and straight after the Sheffield United match, Steve Bruce gave an update on the four affected.
“Joelinton looks as if it’s a knock.
“Saint-Maximin, we don’t know whether it’s a calf. (Then when asked if ASM’s injury was serious) We hope not, it looked a bit innocuous.
“The goalkeeper [Martin Dubravka] got a bit of a hamstring.
“Joe Willock was just fatigued.”
Now on Friday morning, Steve Bruce has confirmed that in total he will have late fitness checks on three players.
The Head Coach saying he thinks both ASM and Martin Dubravka will be alright but will monitor them to check they are ok after training.
Steve Bruce indicating that nobody else has a problem from Wednesday’s match, with Joelinton and Joe Willock amongst those who are fine.
Earlier in the week Bruce was hoping to include teenager Elliot Anderson in at least one of the remaining games, it all depending on how his hip injury recovery is going. So it will be a late check on him as well.
No doubt plenty of Newcastle fans will be wondering why on earth you would be risking the likes of ASM and / or Dubravka in a nothing game if there are any even minute concerns, why not give squad players a game and make sure key players are ok?
Especially Martin Dubravka when in only three weeks time he hopes to be part of Euro 2020.
Steve Bruce speaking to BBC Newcastle ahead of the match against Fulham:
“We think Martin [Dubravka] is going to be OK, but I’ll know for definite at the end of training.
“Allan [Saint-Maximin] wasn’t quite sure if it was a kick, a strain, or a twist, but we hope he’s going to be OK.
“Everybody else is OK.
“We’ve got Schar back after suspension, too.”
On pre-season plans:
“We’re still talking.
“I would think if we went away there wouldn’t be any games – it wouldn’t be wise to play games and have people travelling.
“We’re looking at a couple of camps: one in this country, and one in Portugal.”
“For me, the next week at the after the season is about making sure pre-season is done.
“I think we were linked, last year, to about 150 players in the summer window, and I’m sure it’ll be more of the same.
“We’ve got a few ideas together.”
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