Steve Bruce has shared some early team news ahead of tomorrow night’s crucial clash with Sheffield United.
The NUFC boss has confirmed that Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez will be recalled, however it’s not so clear on Karl Darlow, with Bruce suggesting he’s yet to decide whether he or Martin Dubravka will start against the Blades – something he’s described as an “awful” dilemma.
After being left at home over the weekend, it also appears both Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey will return at Brammal Lane.
Bruce is also hopeful that Ryan Fraser can play a part after training over the past week, while Jamaal Lascelles is set to be assessed after ‘fatigue’ saw him taken off at half-time at Arsenal on his first game back from COVID.
Jamal Lewis is another who may return – although there’s been no word on him today – and Matty Longstaff will be hoping for a recall after he was rested against Arsenal.
Here’s what he’s had to say on the fitness front, followed by his comments on our two “quality” GK’s he’s struggling to choose between:
“We’ve got Fab Schar, Karl Darlow and Fernandez back.”
“We hope Fraser can be available.
“We purposely left a few (Wilson and Shelvey) at home with Tuesday in mind.”
“With Jamaal Lascelles we had to see how he went, that is what we are stabbing in the dark about.
“It’s not like a groin strain, it’s after affects of what he had.
“To be fair to the lad he was down on his feet but it’s good to get 45 minutes under his belt.
“The key to it is recovery as the games come thick and fast now.
“It’s very difficult but we will do our best we can to recover and hopefully we will have some fit bodies back.
“We’re getting there with the problems that we’ve had. Hopefully we will have a freshness about us.
“That’s what the new word is…’rotation’ or what have you.
Bruce on the Darlow / Dubravka dilemma:
“I’m delighted with the goalkeeping situation we’ve got. We have two quality goalkeepers.
“Martin reminded us at Arsenal of what a good goalkeeper he is.
“Karl has been very good all season.
“So I’ve got one of those awful ones (decisions) to make – let’s hope I pick the right one.”
Dubravka may be our best long-term option and was solid as a rock on his return at Arsenal, but Darlow doesn’t deserve to be dropped for me.
Take him out of the side at the first opportunity and he’ll be pushing for a move this summer.