Steve Bruce has confirmed that Paul Dummett AND Fabian Schar have contract clauses that allow the club to extend their current deals by another year – something that could avoid both leaving on a free this summer.
Speaking to the press this morning ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Leicester City, the NUFC boss insists that these ‘big discussions’ will be put on hold until our Premier League status is sealed, however.
Elsewhere, Bruce has hinted that Joe Willock will return to the starting 11 after being ineligible to feature against Arsenal last weekend, also providing an update on the injury front.
Elliot Anderson is expected to miss the ‘next few weeks’ with a hip problem and Fabian Schar will miss the next three games after the club’s appeal against his recent red card was somehow rejected by the Premier League.
On the plus side, Bruce confirms Jamaal Lascelles is out of his protective boot and recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, saying he is ‘touch and go’ to play again this season, also insisting that Callum Wilson is fully fit after fully overcoming a hamstring injury.
Here’s what he’s had to say on all of the above:
Bruce on Dummett and Schar’s future:
“I believe he has something similar (clause to extend his contract) to Schär – but all those decisions have been put on the back burner.
With all the discussions with contracts, we have to make sure we secure our PL status before anything.
“It’s vitally important we all just focus on staying in the league.”
“We’ve made big strides, but we’re still not there yet.”
Bruce on injuries, Schar’s and Anderson:
“Everybody is OK.
“Obviously we lost the appeal with Fabian Schär so unfortunately he’s not available but everybody has come through the weekend unscathed.”
“We thought it [the red card] was harsh and I still do. We have to accept it, we thought it was worth an appeal and unfortunately we’ve lost it.
“It’s a crying shame for Fab because he’s worked tirelessly to get himself fit.”
“Elliot [Anderson] picked up a knock in the last game he played and it’s set him back a little bit. We’re not sure how bad it is but it’s a hip problem.
“He’s going to be struggling for the next couple of weeks.”
Bruce on Willock’s chances of starting:
“He came in against Southampton and did very, very well.
“Certainly, he’s been knocking on the door.
“He’s had a terrific time for us. Knocking on the door is the polite way to put it!”
Bruce on Lascelles:
“It’s just time – a stress fracture of the metatarsal, you’ve just got to give him time.
“He’s out of the boot and we’ve seen him walking about the training ground now.
“It’s touch and go whether he’ll play any further part this season.
Bruce on Wilson:
“He’s over his injury which is vitally important.
“He’s had 90 minutes under his belt which is good for his mental state as well that he knows his hamstring is OK.”
Isaac Hayden remains out with a knee injury, while the lack of updates on Ryan Fraser and Karl Darlow suggests both will miss out once again after undergoing operations last month.