Steve Bruce is hoping to welcome Jamaal Lascelles back to the heart of his defence tomorrow.
The skipper was named on the bench in our opening day defeat to West Ham – a move that surprised many inside St James’ Park – however it seems he wasn’t 100% fit after recovering from a stress fracture in his foot at the back end of last season.
A week on, Bruce is hopeful the captain will be able to return to his starting line up after a few extra sessions at the club’s Benton training base over the last 7 days.
Here’s what the NUFC boss has had to say when speaking about Lascelles in this morning’s press conference, all but confirming he’ll return if he passes a late fitness test:
“It’s been a toil.
“I just thought, physically, that was the best bet [to name him on the bench].
“After another [7-10 days] of training, hopefully, he’ll return”
Whether you rate him or not, I do feel we often look stronger defensively and much more organised with him in the side.
He’s gone backwards under Bruce and isn’t that ball player we are crying out for, however he is without doubt our quickest centre back and most formidable athlete in that department.
Let’s hope he’s ready to return and comes in for Emil Krafth – a right-back who has rarely impressed in his natural position, never mind as part of a three-man defence.