Steve Bruce has been speaking to the club’s official media channel after arriving at their York-based training camp at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate.
In a comment that’s got some fans intrigued and others baffled, Bruce says the camp is a ‘great way to integrate’ potential new signings into the squad. Is this a hint at incoming arrivals or just an odd line from the NUFC boss given we’re yet to bring in anyone so far this summer?!
Bruce also states that the club will assess Florian Lejeune, Freddie Woodman and Yoshinori Muto following their return from respective loan spells – saying he’ll “see what develops” with all three over pre-season.
He also looks forward to having a “full house” at St James’ Park for our opening day clash with West Ham, praises Jamal Lewis after a “big learning curve” last year and explains why Miguel Almiron, Emil Krafth, Fabian Schar and Martin Dubravka won’t be back for a few weeks yet after playing for their countries over the summer.
Speaking to NUFC TV, here’s what he’s had to say on all of the above:
Bruce when asked ‘what are you looking to achieve [at this pre-season training camp]?’
“Well of course, I mean if for example you ever got a few new players, or whatever, of course it is a great way to integrate them into the squad.
“It just takes you away from the [usual] environment, the training ground, and they know that they can get the right rest – a lot of them have kids at home.
“I think it is always vitally important for any player, you miss pre-season and it becomes difficult.
“Of course, this year with all the problems of players away, that way it is a little bit staggered for some, obviously some need a rest who have been away at the Euros…so it’s a vitally important time of course.”
Bruce on the summer break:
“Well we all needed a break from it, everybody was physically exhausted by the end of last season.
“It’s good to be back and when I see football being normal again, rather than behind closed doors.
“We all remember last year and the awful times, lets hope things go our way and we can all get geared up to a full house against West Ham in a few…five weeks time, whatever it is.”
Bruce on the players back for pre-season:
“Jamal Lewis is a wonderful athlete the kid, it was a big learning curve for him last year, he’s only a young boy.
“We’ve got two or three back from loans [Muto, Lejeune, Woodman] of course, we’ll see what develops with those over pre-season.
“Preparation is the key and I always think, the more better the player will become.
Bruce on the international players yet to return for pre-season:
“All the players [who have been away on international duty] will have a minimum of three weeks [holiday].
“So, Miggy as we know was in the Copa America and there’s one or two resting up after what they have been through [at the Euros] and rightly so.”