Steve Bruce has shared an update on the fitness front this morning ahead of tomorrow’s trip to St Mary’s.
The NUFC boss confirms that Allan Saint-Maximin is ‘OK’ and should be fine to start again at Southampton. Javier Manquillo is ‘sore’ from Tuesday and a slight doubt – but should also be fine for tomorrow’s game.
Elsewhere, Christian Atsu and Emil Krafth appear to be back in contention after training this week, but the silence on Andy Carroll suggests this weekend’s game will come too soon for him once again.
Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett and Jetro Willems are the three other long-term absentees, with the defensive trio ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.
Here’s what Bruce told the press this morning, suggesting just about everyone has come through Tuesday’s game unscathed:
“Allan [Saint-Maximin] is OK.
“He seemed bright yesterday and we think he’s going to be fine.
“That goes for them all.
“Manquillo was sore yesterday so we’ll see how he is but, touch wood, everyone has come through Tuesday.”
Bruce also commented on the recent change from a five-man defence to a 4-2-3-1 formation – which saw us score three goals in midweek and create considerably more chances in our draw with Burnley last weekend (despite the fact failed to score):
“The players are now comfortable with it and I think that’s vitally important.
“We did a lot of work because they’ve played a certain way for a long time
“They seem to be enjoying playing a little bit higher up the pitch which is good.
“Playing a back four gives us an extra body up the top end of the pitch.
“We had 20-odd attempts against Burnley and didn’t take one but we’ve had more chances.”
Here’s hoping we can continue to show more threat in the final third, with our attack looking far more fluid at the Hawthorns on Tuesday.