Newcastle United fitness/injury update – Steve Bruce says now only 1 injury worry for West Ham game
When Newcastle United played their fifth of six friendlies at Burnley on Tuesday, eight players were unavailable to start.
Sean Dyche’s side comfortably winning 1-0, as Newcastle United played without Dummett, Almiron, ASM, Anderson, Darlow, Dubravka, Wilson and Manquillo in the squad.
However, speaking after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Norwich [who ironically were missing eight first team squad players – six due to self isolating and two injured] Steve Bruce now declares: ‘In terms of injury, we have only got really Dummy [Paul Dummett] at the moment.’
The Newcastle United Head Coach stating: ‘…it looks as though this week we will have a strong squad to pick from’ for the West Ham game, as the Premier League season kicks off.
I think that when interpreting Steve Bruce’s words, we have to differentiate between injury and fitness.
The NUFC Head Coach meaning that Paul Dummett is the only first team player where sorting his (calf) injury isn’t near any kind of solution, whereas Martin Dubravka was still ruled out on Saturday as he recovers from surgery, Elliot Anderson likewise is resting due to a hip problem, whilst Karl Darlow could only manage light training last week, having had a bad bout of covid that put him in hospital.
It was a real positive to see Newcastle play far better in the second half against an admittedly much weakened Norwich, now we wait to see what level of fitness there will be for a number of players by the time West Ham comes along, who will be ready and available to start?
Callum Wilson played 45 minutes yesterday after having missed training and the previous two friendlies with a hamstring problem.
Allan Saint-Maximin also managed 45 minutes against Norwich, he’d been missing from training and the previous three friendlies after an unspecified ‘illness’ had ruled him out.
Javier Manquillo has missed almost all of pre-season and his 10 minutes against Norwich were the first time he’d featured in the friendlies.
Jonjo Shelvey recovering from a calf injury that had ruled him out of pre-season, he managed his first 31 minutes against Burnley and then 45 minutes against Norwich.
Whilst Miguel Almiron only rejoined the NUFC squad for the first time this summer in midweek, getting his first 45 minutes in yesterday’s friendly.
In defence and in terms of defensive midfielders, Newcastle United should have their usual level of options as per last season, with no signings so far. Freddie Woodman of course though set for his Premier League debut, with Dubravka and Darlow set to sit West Ham out.
So it will be in the attacking areas where Steve Bruce will have the biggest decisions, in terms of which players are able to start against the Hammers, as risking anybody unnecessarily and bringing on a possible serious injury for a key player, would be ridiculous.
Jonjo Shelvey is of course Brucey’s favourite and he will need to decide on the midfielder’s condition ahead of Sunday, along with the attacking trio of Wilson, ASM and Almiron.
The positive thing is that at least they all look possibles now for the West Ham match, all the more important when we have reached day 61 of the transfer window and Mike Ashley still refusing to allow any strengthening of this Newcastle United squad.
Steve Bruce speaking to NUFC TV after 3-0 win over Norwich:
“Pre-season is nearly finished, preparations have gone well.
“In terms of injury, we have only got really Dummy [Paul Dummett] at the moment.
“So even though managing that [injuries and illness this summer] has been difficult, with the covid and the rest of it, it looks as though this week we will have a strong squad to pick from.”
Newcastle 3 Norwich 0
Ritchie 55, Gayle 74, 88
Woodman, Murphy (Manquillo 80), Krafth (Schar 66), Fernandez (Lascelles 66), Clark (Watts 83), Ritchie (Lewis 66), Hayden (Hendrick 66), S Longstaff (Shelvey 46), Almiron (Fraser 46), Joelinton (Saint-Maximin 46), Wilson (Gayle 66)
Gillespie, M Longstaff, Langley
(Match report – Newcastle 3 Norwich 0 – NUFC improve with ASM to beat relegation rivals in final warm up – Read HERE)
(Steve Bruce – Newcastle United ‘100%’ keeping Saint-Maximin, (still) speaking to Arsenal about Joe Willock – Read HERE)
Newcastle United pre-season friendlies:
Sunday 18 July – York City 1 Newcastle 0
Sunday 18 July Harrogate Town 2 Newcastle 1 (This was originally a first team fixture with some Under 23 added but it became solely a Under 23 NUFC players after Karl Darlow tested positive for Covid and first team and Under 23s had to be kept apart)
Friday 23 July – Doncaster 2 Newcastle 3
Tuesday 27 July – Rotherham 1 Newcastle 1
Friday 30 July – Burton 0 Newcastle 2
Tuesday 3 August – Burnley 1 Newcastle 0
Saturday 7 August – Newcastle 3 Norwich 0
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