Darlow was clearly in pain and struggling badly, making it baffling to see Bruce decide to leave him on the field for so long, however it’s equally infuriating to see what the NUFC boss has had to say about Hayden.
Bruce admits that the midfielder felt his hamstring before half-time, but decided to take a risk and send him out for the second 45…only for the injury to inevitably get worse as he limped of FOUR minutes into the restart.
Here’s what Bruce has had to say on both:
“Unfortunately, he (Hayden) nicked a hamstring in the first-half, just before half-time.
“We thought he was going to be OK for the second but obviously he wasn’t.”
“He’s (Darlow) took a hell of a blow.
“We hope that he’s not too bad.
“Until we see the scans we won’t know how it is but he’s very sore.”
Considering how vital Darlow has been in Dubravka’s absence, it was absolutely baffling to see Bruce keep Mark Gillespie on the bench.
Maybe Darlow said he’d play on, but he was grimacing every time he kicked the ball and is likely to have only his apparent groin injury even worse.
As for Hayden, he could be a big miss as our only tackling midfielder, yet that’s another example where Bruce has asked for trouble – and ultimately paid the price for sending him out in the second half.
This isn’t the first time the boss has managed injuries poorly and probably won’t be the last, making his claims that he has no luck in this department all the more frustrating.
I suspect we may be forced to do without them for a week or two!