Steve Bruce has given his press conference for Tuesday’s critical match at Sheffield United. After making seven changes in our FA Cup defeat on Saturday, Bruce is hoping to field a refreshed team tomorrow.
Here is what Bruce had to say per Newcastle’s Twitter account:
“We’ll have a few players back. It was good to see Jamaal Lascelles get 45 minutes against Arsenal. We’ve got Fabian Schär, Karl Darlow, and Fede Fernandez who we left at home [on Saturday] so we should have a certain freshness.”
Both Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey were sent home this weekend after traveling to London for our FA Cup tie. The reason cited was that it was only precautionary so we hope they will be available tomorrow.
There is also Ryan Fraser, who returned to group training after a groin injury. Tomorrow may be too soon for the winger but hopefully he will be back soon.
The match against the Blades is looming very large for Newcastle. After going winless in the last 7 in all competitions, we need points to avoid dropping further down the table. Sheffield seem like a prime opportunity to do that as they’ve yet to win in the league this season and are currently on just two points.
Bruce spoke about Newcastle’s league position and doesn’t seem alarmed just yet despite being in 15th place. Here is what he said as published in The Mail:
“At the moment we have a nice healthy cushion to the bottom three. If we’d gone in the bottom three then I’d say maybe (we were in a relegation fight). We knew this would be a tough run of fixtures. We’re in that run where we have to get out of it.
“But Sheffield United’s position proves how difficult the Premier League is. They took it by storm last year and were in the top six at Christmas. So although they prop up the table, they are a very good side still. We’ll have to be at our best to beat them.”
Bruce also was asked about the goalkeeping situation with both Karl Darlow and Martin Dubravka battling it out to be number one. Dubravka made his season debut in the defeat at Arsenal and played very well.
However, Bruce had said that Darlow would remain the number one after his performances this campaign. Dubravka’s display on Saturday has given Bruce a decision to make for Tuesday.
Here is what Bruce said about his goalkeeper selection dilemma for tomorrow:
“We have two quality goalkeepers. Martin reminded us at Arsenal of what a good goalkeeper he is. Karl has been very good all season. So I’ve got one of those awful ones (decisions) to make – let’s hope I pick the right one.”
It would be very cruel to drop Darlow after how he’s played so far this season. So we’ll see what Bruce decides to do tomorrow night.