Steve McClaren talked on nufcTV immediately after the game yesterday and was asked about the status of goalkeeper Rob Elliot who made two excellent saves for us yesterday.
Rob had a thigh problem but was given a fitness test before the game and he told McClaren he could play and he did well – until thigh went mid-way through the second half.
Freddie Woodman – could make debut this Saturday
There was some talk of a shoulder problem after the game, but McClaren didn’t mention that – so we assume it’s the thigh that keeps causing him problems.
That’s the one that went last year in the home game against Chelsea when Jak Alnwick had to come in at half-time.
McClaren said he admired the spirit of Rob and complemented the goalkeeper for his willingness to play yesterday.
McClaren was asked whether the thigh problem would be cleared up for next Saturday’s game at Bournemouth and he said it wouldn’t be.
That’s twice in the last year when Tim Krul ahs been out injured that Rob’s come in but has been able to play only a few games before he injured that thigh of his.
Newcastle now qualify to bring in a goalkeeper on an emergency loan deal but we don’t think Steve McClaren will do that.
The head coach was then asked what he will do and whether 18 year-old Freddie Woodman would get a start and this is how Steve answered that question:
“If called upon, we will soon find out.” “You never know until you throw them in, that’s with any player.”
“We said that about Kevin Mbabu and he came in and done the job.” “Freddie might have to.”
“We don’t think Rob will be fit.” “He winced in the middle of the second half.” “It is an ongoing problem.” “We will assess it.”
Freddie is one of our top young up-and-coming players and he is very highly regarded at Newcastle.
If his displays on the American tour are anything to go but we should have no worries but it’s always a risk when you blood a young player.
But Freddie seems to have an excellent temperament and he will have been buoyed by his good displays on loan at Crawley Town earlier this season until he was recalled after Tim picked up his serious knee injury.
Karl Darlow is a week or two away from being fit so maybe the one who is the fitter between Karl or Rob could be on the bench at Bournemouth – just in case Freddie is injured?
We do have a two week International break after next Saturday’s game so Karl and Rob will have a bit of time to get fully fit.
It looks to us like Freddie will be prepared for the game at Bournemouth on Saturday and will start.
What do you think?