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Bruce To Experiment As Key Youngsters Held Out Of Fulham Match This Afternoon

Steve Bruce seems determined to field as strong a side as possible tomorrow at Rochdale. However, with so many defenders missing through injury, he’s going to have a hard time finding a way to stick with five at the back.

He will likely be forced to experiment with the formation tomorrow. That’s something that he hinted at during his press conference this morning:

“We’ll look at everything, including the formation. But we have a strong enough squad, in my opinion, to progress at Rochdale, regardless.”

We expect to see a flat back four at Spotland. However, he’ll still have to cobble together a defense with just Federico Fernandez likely to be available at center-back.

We could see DeAndre Yedlin despite his hand injury in at right-back. While left-back is a mystery without Jetro Willems or Paul Dummett. Matt Ritchie could make the bench but probably won’t start.

Bruce has hinted at a possible solution to his backline conundrum. This is what he said about playing some Magpies out of position:

“We’ll try to put out as strong a team as possible. I said from the start I want to take the Cup seriously, and we still want to.

“We have ten or eleven injuries, with five defenders out.

“So we may have to try people in different positions we feel can do a job, like Krafth.”

While he specifically mentions Emil Krafth, another player who can play multiple positions is Isaac Hayden. Isaac played right-back and center-back under Rafa.

Krafth played left-back for a bit against Leicester City before moving centrally when Fabian Schar was forced off. So we could see the Swede at left-back tomorrow.

Elias Sorensen– being saved for FA Cup?

However, Bruce may still have to draft in some youngster to start tomorrow. He spoke about that this morning as well. There could be as many as four in the traveling squad:

“We’ve still got a strong enough squad to go and get a result. We’ll have three or four youngsters traveling with us.

“This time last year, we saw the introduction of Sean Longstaff, which opened the door for him. It could do for someone else this weekend.”

As luck would have it, the U23s take on Fulham this afternoon so we can take a look at who isn’t involved.

A few names that jump out are striker Elias Sorensen, defender Lewis Cass, forward Tom Allan, and midfielder Kyle Scott. So they could be ones that will make the trip to Rochdale tomorrow where maybe we’ll see a couple of lads make their Newcastle debuts.

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23 comments so far

  • DubaiMicky

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #1

    “But we have a strong enough squad, in my opinion, to progress at Rochdale, regardless.”

    Oh dear, talk about the kiss of death Mr. Bruce.

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #2

    Sorensen will be delighted to see action after his recent trevails. Whilst I haven’t seen hím play, I’d be worried about his ability if he didn’t have any impact on loan.

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #3

    I would agree Dubai. Not the cleverest or most respectful thing to say.

  • Jib

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #4

    Rochdale play a back 4 and their 2 Irish CB’s (who Munster may know of)
    Eoghan O’Connell & Paul McShane (34 on Monday) are not exactly giants.

  • Jib

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #5

    Rochdale also have a young Welsh CB on loan from Sheff Utd
    who is even shorter
    The splendidly named – Rhys Llewelyn Norrington-Davies

  • Reilly

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #6

    Bruce “I could have played somebody out of position. Asking him to play four games in ten days – I’m as responsible for the goals as he was.

    “So, I have to hold my hands up and say I was wrong.”

  • simon376

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #7

    Maybe he only takes notice when things are not going to plan or rather he just doesn’t care until someone goes against what he wants

  • Reilly

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #8

    Rochdale drew 1-1 with manure,got beat on pens.

  • geordietom

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #9

    repost …

    one weekend off how gracious of SKY . something needs to be done about SKY dictating the games have 2 weeks off over the Christmas period that means all teams in the EPL . look at VILLA they have lost 2 players for the rest of the season . how many of our players have injuries because all the games that have been played . how many other teams have lost players because of all the fixtures that have been played in such a short space of time

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #10

    Marvellous Welsh name 🙂

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #11

    Fair play to Steve for admitting an error.

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #12

    Look what happened to that uppity Rafa, simon!

  • JohnReese

    Jan 3, 2020 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #13

    I get the feeling with Sorensen he may well be the type of player that takes a bit of time to get up to speed in a game, so struggled as an impact player on reduced minutes, as seen when he was getting such limited time at Carlisle.

    Anyone can correct me if I’m wrong but I believe when he was scoring so consistently for the U23’s he was predominantly starting most every game. I wouldn’t be against him starting against Rochdale. Give him a chance. There’s been a number of examples of players who’ve flattered to deceive out on loan but when they get a chance at their parent club through necessity it for some reason clicks.

  • Jib

    Jan 3, 2020 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #14

    I thought Bruce would take Olly Walters – he’s a good left back
    but he’s captaining the side vs Fulham.

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 3, 2020 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #15

    Ron, what did rafa do that was uppity? From what I remember he didn’t play strong cup teams?

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 3, 2020 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #17

    He just wanted Ashley to show some ambition. Nothing really important, Munster.

  • Jib

    Jan 3, 2020 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #18

    Ludwig Francilette the 6’4″ young CB could makes his debut

  • Rob1971

    Jan 3, 2020 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #19

    Munster for not playing strong cup teams he got us to the QF of the league cup and penalty kicks from the semi final

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 3, 2020 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #20

    #NUFC have taken the lead with a fine strike from Longelo off the bar 1-0 here vs Fulham

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 3, 2020 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #21

    Rob I was referring to the FA cup. I don’t remember strong teams from rafa but don’t have the exact details.

  • Jib

    Jan 3, 2020 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #22

    The starters vs Watford in the 4th round tie we lost last season

  • Geordie-john

    Jan 3, 2020 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #23

    AT LAST ! Young Sorensen might get a chance to shine for the first team. He needs a break in my opinion. Good player !!
    Go on youngen shine for the Geordies !


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