Having looked through the lines up from the two training matches that have taken place on Tyneside over the past week, there’s a handful of players who’ve failed to feature in either.
While a total of 22 senior players have got some valuable minutes across our training game at St James’ Park last weekend and midweek in over Middlesbrough at Benton, it seems Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle, Ciaran Clark and Matty Longstaff have sat both games out.
Two others who played in last weekend’s in-house training match but missed out vs Middlesbrough are Sean Longstaff and Paul Dummett:
Featured in both games: Dubravka, Darlow, – Krafth Yedlin, Manquillo – Schar, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lejeune – Rose – Hayden, Shelvey, Bentaleb, Lazaro, Ritchie, Astu, Saint-Maximin, Almiron – Muto, Joelinton.
Featured in one: S. Longstaff, Dummett.
Featured in none: M Longstaff, Carroll, Gayle, Clark
Jack Colback, Rob Elliot and Henri Saivet are a few others who’ve also failed to feature, however it’s fair to say all three are no longer under consideration.
As for Carroll, it was claimed last week that he’d been training like a ‘caged bear’ last week, however Bruce’s refusal to use him in training games tells me he’s either choosing not to risk him (which says a lot about his injury woes!) or doesn’t think he’s ready yet.
Ciaran Clark will be being introduced slowly after only recently recovering from a bad ankle injury at Arsenal that would’ve normally ruled him out for the season, while Gayle’s absence is anyone’s guess.
After finding a way into Steve Bruce’s XI before play was suspended, let’s hope he’s not having more trouble with those temperamental hamstrings again!
Matty is believed to have a slight niggle, but he won’t be featuring anytime soon while his future remains so unclear amid serious interest from Udinese and his apparent refusal to sign an offer on the table from NUFC.
With the lads set to take on Hull City in another behind-closed-doors training match on Saturday, a clearer indication on the fitness of all four looks set to arrive this weekend.
Miss that one and it’s fair to say none will be featuring in next Sunday’s Premier League clash with Sheffield United!