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Bruce Talks About Squad Freshness, League Position, And Selection Dilemma Ahead Of Sheffield United



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.

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62 comments so far

  • The Rev.Jim

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #41

    @Tsunki = otherwise,

    I only said it as thought you were playing ring a ring a roses
    an issue an issue we all fall down

    I really need to go to specsavers,when were allowed out.

    here’s Rev Jim in action
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-c4cd_Lm-Q&list=FL2VesmDV3xbIUlnjVkSWPkQ&index=499 good laugh

    1
  • Tsunki

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #42

    I wonder what sort of catastrophic event has to overcome Steve Bruce to make him suddenly realise that this is football not pinball?

    Consistently the ball gravitates back under threat towards the goalkeeper, every contact with one of our players is like one of those dinging bollards or spasmodic flippers vainly trying to get the ball to progress but usually allowing it to magnetise to the keeper and…… Twaaanggg! Up it goes under power to the top of the pitch again for another inevitable bounce down field. No matter that the likelihood is loss of possession immediately. How many times have we gone on a productive offensive from a 45 degree hammer up the park? We are as likely to hit a greenhouse or a car as put the ball into a scoring situation. Can we not just push a bit forward and get the opposition to invest less up front so we can play out a bit more? Or is Bruce’s confidence in our players so low he thinks it’s his best chance clattering it into the air for a 50/50?

    3
  • cleveleysbob

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #43

    Adam, and all we hope for is that he leaves, much simpler and shorter list! 😉

    2
  • Tsunki

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #44

    The Rev I’m hoping you aren’t allowed out son I have a feeling you’re cooped up for non-covid reasons ha ha it’ll send us all mad eventually. 😀

    1
  • The Rev.Jim

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #45

    It’s all them cookies the links keep giving me Tsunki.
    Think someone nobbled them,I bet it was Latka 😉

    2
  • Tsunki

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #46

    😀

    1
  • The Rev.Jim

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #47

    Back on track.
    Is it any wonder our Goalies are 99% of the time man of the match.
    I mean half the time it’s shooty in.

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #48

    Personally I think Neil should spend a bit more time on the blog, most people tended to behave a lot better when The Wife was posting regularly.

    8
  • The Wife

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #49

    And I thought no one missed me! 😀

    22
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #50

    Jail

    Agreed but she was also an interesting person to talk to.

    5
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #51

    Hole La Esposa,
    Of course we did, you just disappeared in to the ether 😀

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #52

    Hola 😮

    1
  • Tackle from behind

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #53

    Jail

    Agree with that.

    Ed used to be a regular poster in the early days. I can certainly forgive him for not being so active now, but maybe Neil or the Wife could pop in occasionally and calm the ruckus down a little – just the air of an authoritive figure would keep a lid on most things.

    Either that or appoint a blog moderator to remind folk of their responsibilities from time to time.

    I vote anyone but Dennis Twice. He would send out the wrong message.

    5
  • Ashingtoon62

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #54

    TBF Jail the Wife mostly posted on the nightshift,where the behaviour is impeccable..
    Yikes!! there she is 🙂

    3
  • Ashingtoon62

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #55

    Good idea Tackle lets have a vote,even if it’s only in jest.Put forward ya nominations with reasons why,or nominations against with reasons why. 🙂

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #56

    The Wife,
    Are the Anglo American pundits so forgiving of Bruce’s style of football over there or are they a bit more critical of the dross he’s serving up.

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #57

    Tackle,
    I agree, I think people are less likely to act like idiots when the editors are about.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #58

    Ashingtoon,
    Yikes, excellent word, always puts a smile on my face when I hear that 😀

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #59

    EGB,
    Yes.

    0
  • Adamn_92

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #60

    We’re all adults so we shouldn’t need someone on here to remind us, I do feel like it would help though. If Neil or Ed can’t, then designating a moderator would be a good idea. It would have to be someone pretty neutral though, otherwise there’d always be some posters claiming bias etc.

    1
  • The Wife

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #61

    Hola, Jail!

    I have taken quite a step back from the football, so I honestly have no idea what sports pundits have to say about Steve Bruce beyond what I hear in passing from Rebecca Lowe and whichever Robbie is on NBCSN. And I think they’d much prefer to talk about any team other than Newcastle!

    4
  • Ashingtoon62

    Jan 11, 2021 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #62

    Jail you a Sam Vimes fan? 🙂

    0


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