We seem to be almost in the same situation we were almost a year ago with Tim Krul out injured – this time for the season and Rob Elliot deputizing but with a dodgy thigh injury that could go at any time.
And we have a player on the bench who has never played for the Newcastle first team – Freddie Woodman – just like we had Jak Alnwick on the bench last year.
It was early December last year that Rob´s thigh went just before half time in the home game against Chelsea – and in came Jak Alnwick to deputize at the start of the second half.
Rob Elliot – to start at Bournemouth?
Rob injured his thigh again in the second half last week at home to Stoke and he limped off the St. James Park pitch at the end of the 0-0 draw and it was thought an emergency loan would be made to bring in a new goalkeeper earlier this week.
The fact that nothing happened suggested Newcastle were hoping Rob could make the game on Saturday and assistant coach Paul Simpson on Tuesday indicated that´s what the coaching staff were hoping for.
Now it seems the 29 year-old´s thigh injury has improved and it looks like he could play in what is now a really crucial match at Bournemouth.
There is news in the Shields Gazette today that they understand the thigh has improved over the last few days.
Simpson had said in his nufcTV interview on Tuesday they may see how Rob is on Wednesday and let him train and he will undergo a fitness test maybe as late as Saturday.
But that’s also leaving things very late and we expect the coaching staff are preparing Freddie Woodman in case he needs to start the game – and we suppose Newcastle will have to take a third goalkeeper along just in case Rob cannot start the game.
It´s a huge risk the club are taking – unless Rob is almost certain to start this game, and we will not know for sure what the status is until Steve McClaren gives his press conference for the game and the fitness of Elliot is likely to be the first question.
Freddie Woodman – on standby
Of course how he does during the game is another matter and if the thigh goes then in comes 18 year-old Freddie Woodman for his Newcastle debut.
Karl Darlow is very near to being able to resume training – maybe even next week – so the situation should improve during the two week International break.
But that´s assuming Rob can come through the Bournemouth game unscathed in what we hope is Newcastle´s second win of the season.
It seems it´s a big risk being taken by Steve McClaren in what is such an important game.