Steve Bruce has been speaking to the press this morning ahead of Tottenham’s visit to Tyneside tomorrow night.
On the injury front, the NUFC boss has confirmed that Jamaal Lascelles looks set to join Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden on the sidelines, while Danny Rose has also been ruled out (being ineligible to play against his parent club).
Ciaran Clark remains out and this game is expected to come too soon for Florian Lejeune and Andy Carroll, however Allan Saint-Maximin should be ok – with him being pictured in training just yesterday.
Here’s what Bruce had to say on the injury front, followed by his comments on a takeover, transfer and Matty Longstaff’s tedious contract saga:
“I don’ think Jamaal Lascelles will make it – he’s going for a second opinion on the injury this morning.
“It’s still too early for Hayden and Sean Longstaff.
“I don’t think Andy Carroll will make tomorrow”
“We have a few knocks but we’ll see how they are today.”
Bruce on the ongoing takeover situation ahead of another big transfer market for the club:
“How many times have I said it? We all need clarity on that, “
.”I do, the club does, everyone does so we need a decision on that of course and then we can all take stock of that. If that happens, then we’ll all see what the change is.”
“If it doesn’t we’ve got to try and prepare for next season as best we can.”
“I think everyone will be cutting their cloth so we’re not alone in it (because of COVID-19).
“However, we’ve got a big important summer. We want to move on.
“We’ve got to try and identify who we’d like to bring into the club to keep improving and we’ll always try and do that”
Here’s what the gaffer then said on the Matty Longstaff saga, questioning the 20-year-old’s commitment to the club after months of talks and a “fabulous offer”:
“I’ve got people who are committed to the club and, just yet, Matty hasn’t committed himself. It’s been going on, in my opinion, far, far too long – and it might have affected the boy.
“He has, for a young player, got a big decision to make.
“We’ve made him a fabulous offer for a young boy.
“Yes, it’s my job to protect players but it’s also to protect the club, and we want people who are committed to the club.
“We hope we can resolve it.”
Bruce then attempted to explain why he started a centre-back, Fabian Schar, over Matty in midfield on Saturday – something that won’t have gone down well in the Longstaff camp when he’s worried about the game time he’ll receive:
“I have played Fabian Schar because of his physicality.
“This debate that I am not putting Matty Longstaff in the team because of his contract is not true.
“I picked a team [at Watford] that I thought could win.
“I have treated Matty the way he should be.
“We made him a huge offer, a good offer.
“It is up to the boy to commit himself.”
Finally, Bruce also hinted that talks will take place soon to secure Danny Rose on a permanent deal – although we won’t see him in action tomorrow for obvious reasons:
“He is ineligible for tomorrow.
“He is Tottenham’s player but in the next few weeks in particular we’ll be looking and identifying players and seeing where we are.
“He’s done very well for us and I’m very pleased with him so there will be conversations to have.”
So much to sort, yet there won’t be a great deal of time to do it, with the transfer market expected to be close in under 12 weeks time and the new season begin before then.
It’s time we had a decision on this Saudi takeover and sorted Matty’s future out one way or another as soon as that happens.
As for Spurs tomorrow, we need a reaction – although I fear a few too many are already on the beach…