Steve Bruce has confirmed that Ciaran Clark is a doubt for Monday’s trip to Aston Villa after picking up a knock on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Bruce insists that both are ‘ready’ and will be considered for selection providing they come through training unscathed over the coming days, however it looks like in-form defender Ciaran Clark will miss out:
“Where we’ve got one or two back fit we’ve maybe lost one or two with the internationals but that’s how it is. Ciaran Clark is our biggest worry. After coming on for Ireland he’s got a knock so we’ll see how he is.”
Bruce also suggested that Clark’s suspected hamstring injury ‘isn’t too bad’, but it sounds like Monday will come too soon for the goalscoring centre-back.
Here’s what the NUFC boss then had to say about both Lejeune and Schar:
“Lejeune is close. He’s played in two games, he’s trained – he will be in consideration.
“There comes a point where they can’t just train and train and train; they have to be thrown into the deep end if that’s the right word. But he’s a wonderful pro. He’s the first in and last to go. He’s done everything he possibly can. We feel he’s ready.”
“Schär will be in consideration, too – if he comes through the rest of the week.”
Losing Clark is a blow based on his current form, but that will be softened considerably if Lejeune and Schar are fit to step in.
Saying that, even if Lejeune isn’t deemed ready to start on Monday, we could well see Dummett come in on the left-side of a back three alongside Fernandez and Schar.