Steve Bruce has accepted he’ll have to rotate over the coming weeks as we head into the busy festive period.
The NUFC boss believes it’s essential we ‘adapt’ and ‘have a bit of freshness’ ahead of the coming weeks, with us set to play SEVEN games over the next month.
Lascelles, Ritchie and Lejeune look set to miss out – with the latter being slowly eased back into the fold – but the good news is both Andy Carroll and DeAandre Yedlin have recovered from recent injuries and could return tomorrow night.
Bruce is clearly wary of our ‘ridiculous schedule’ between now and the new year, however:
“Certainly over the next few weeks we’ll have to [change things].
“When you look towards Boxing Day then the 28th – it’s a ridiculous schedule.
“We’ll have to adapt and have a bit of freshness when needed which is always the difficult part.”
Our games between now and the new year are:
- Sheffield United (A) – 5th December
- Southampton (H) – 8th December
- Burnley (A) – 14th December
- Crystal Palace (H) – 21st December
- Man Utd (A) – 26th December
- Everton (H) – 28th December
- Leicester (H) – 1st January
It’s hectic, and when our style of play relies on us putting in 110%, putting everything into our defending and breaking forward on the counter, it may be unrealistic to not make changes.
On the plus side, two players who’ve clearly recovered quickly from recent injuries are Carroll and Yedlin. Here’s what Bruce has had to say about both today:
“As we speak now, they’ve got an outstanding chance. We’re just about to train now before we go down there.
“They trained yesterday and, as long as there’s no real setbacks, they’ve got a chance.”
Having both back would be a boost, but I expect Manquillo and Joelinton to get the nod once again tomorrow – whether Carroll and Yedlin are fully fit or not.