“Poor old Steve has got about seven injuries I think now for the Stoke City game, so it’s just not worth the risk of getting any more injuries”
Was Neil Warnock being serious when he said Monday’s return friendly between Boro and The Toon was called off because Newcastle would have had to play without “seven” injured players if the game went ahead?
Well, Steve Bruce’s comments following Saturday’s 0-1 defeat to Stoke at St James’ Park suggest Warnock wasn’t actually far off!
We know Martin Dubravka and Dwight Gayle are both out – and Bruce reckons the latter could be missing for FOUR months – so that’s two.
Bruce then confirmed after the Stoke game that Paul Dummett and Ciaran Clark have both suffered setbacks, with both missing training and this weekend’s game after that 5-1 thrashing at Boro, taking us up to four.
Fabian Schar takes it to five now he’s back in light training but still some way off returning following a shoulder operation, while Steve Bruce also confirmed in his post-match chat with NUFC TV that Matt Ritchie suffered an injury earlier this week, taking us up to six.
As for the seventh, Matty Longstaff has a thigh injury, but it could well be more than that, with Jonjo Shelvey’s unexplained absence from the squad that took on Stoke surely suggests he’s also picked up a knock?
Then there’s Joelinton and Muto, two players who came on from the bench, yet a duo who returned to pre-season training for the first time all summer on Thursday!
Florian Lejeune was also AWOL, Jamaal Lascelles was suspended and Steve Bruce will be sweating on the fitness of Jeff Hendrick and Emil Krafth – two players currently away on international duty.
Here’s the FOURTEEN players that were absent against Stoke for one reason or another:
- Martin Dubravka (injured)
- Dwight Gayle (injured)
- Paul Dummett (injured)
- Ciaran Clark (injured)
- Matt Ritchie (injured)
- Matty Longstaff (injured)
- Fabian Schar (injured)
- Florian Lejeune (injured, out of favour or on the way out?)
- Jonjo Shelvey (injured?)
- Jeff Hendrick (international duty)
- Emil Krafth (international duty)
- Jamaal Lascelles (suspended)
The team that turned out against Stoke was weak, with Hayden at centre-back, right-backs at left-back and just FIVE subs named, and it’s really worrying that before we’ve even kicked a ball in anger, we already have a huge injury list building up already.
Yet despite all this we approach the weekend before the season start with only Hendrick and Gillespie in – although that’s about to seriously change if Bruce’s bullish comments were anything to go by.
It’s been an incredibly short summer that seems to have dragged on forever. With that and these injury issues it REALLY leaves us needing a boost in the transfer market, so let’s hope that much needed lift does arrive ASAP in the form of Fraser, Wilson and Lewis.
The loan deal for Holding is apparently subject to someone going out at centre-back and a possible move for another right back is dependant on Yedlin moving on, according to Lee Ryder.
We need a left-Back and a striker urgently. I would even perhaps be happy to go into the season with only those additions providing the quality is right, although we definitely need more. The other worry is that even if we land Fraser and Wilson they won’t be match fit for the opening game – especially the former given he’s been without a club and training on his own for the best part of six months.
Bruce reckons we’re ‘close’ to one or two and is hoping ‘four or five’ comes through the door before the window slams shut on October 5th.
Let’s hope he’s right, as the Stoke defeat and every-growing injury list suggests we now need a lift more than ever!