NUFC hit with injury crisis ahead of Brighton – Key man a ‘big doubt’ & U-23 star set for debut?

If being without FIVE of our six senior centre-backs wasn’t bad enough ahead of Monday night’s trip to Brighton, Steve Bruce has also confirmed Allan Saint-Maximin is a ‘big doubt’ for the game.

There is some good news of sorts, however, with our loss in defence looking set to be Kelland Watts‘ gain, with Bruce hinting that the U-23 centre-back could start alongside Federico Fernandez.

Elsewhere, Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff look set to remain sidelined, with Lascelles, Schar and Clark out for the season, Dummett ineligible and Lejeune not ready to return just yet after only just recently returning to training.

Here’s what Bruce’s had to say ahead of the game:

“Fabian Schär is away to see a specialist and we expect him to have an operation.

“Florian Lejeune, Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Paul Dummett, Allan Saint-Maximin, Ciaran Clark & Jamaal Lascelles are all big doubts.”

“We have Federico Fernández, who has played every game and looks as if he’s going to be OK and we have young Kell Watts.

“The impact injuries, there’s nothing you can do about it. We have had our fair share, probably too many. Especially when we play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday we can’t seem to cope. We’ll have to look at that and see what we can do to improve.”

In all honesty, it would be about time Bruce blooded in a U-23 or two. Our season has fizzled out and a few look like they’ve swapped their football boots for flip flops, so this feels like the perfect chance for the likes of Watts to show what he can do.

Yes it’s enforced with so many CB’s injured, but he was included in our first-team squad during last summer’s pre-season tournament (Asia Trophy), playing against Wolves just before Bruce was officially appointed.

As for our ever-growing list injured players, we’ll have to hope they make a quick recovery, with us needing the likes of Lascelles, Saint-Maximin and Hayden back ASAP when the new 2020/21 season is expected to begin before too long!

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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