Steve Bruce has spoken to the media on Thursday morning.
The Newcastle United head coach talking ahead of Friday night’s match against Aston Villa.
Anything less than a win would see Newcastle United at risk of finally falling into the bottom three this weekend.
The bookies already make Newcastle favourites to go down along with Sheffield United and West Brom, following the dismal 0-0 draw at West Brom and Fulham’s win at Anfield last weekend.
Asked about the injury and fitness situation ahead of Friday night, Steve Bruce said that the good news is that both Federico Fernandez and Javier Manquillo are now up for selection. This follows up the club’s training update on Wednesday which confirmed the pair were both training well ahead of the Villa match.
Steve Bruce also confirmed that Almiron, ASM and Wilson will all still be missing for both the Villa match on Friday and Brighton away on Saturday 20 March.
The Newcastle United Head Coach then speaking positively about the two week international break helping one or more of the trio to be available for Spurs at home in three weeks time (first weekend in April). However, I would treat this with absolute caution due to so often in the past Steve Bruce talking overly positive about returns from injury that turn out to be well wide of the mark.
The good news is that Steve Bruce states that there are no new injuries after the West Brom match.
So with Fabian Schar almost certain to miss the rest of the season, it means Bruce has most of his squad to choose from, only Schar, Wilson, ASM and Almiron making it four who are definitely going to miss out on Friday night.
Steve Bruce speaking at his pre-Aston Villa press conference:
“We’ve got no new injuries to report.
“Javier Manquillo has worked extremely hard and was a week or two quicker than expected so it was good to see him around it.
“Fernández is back amongst it too which is good news.”
Asked how Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin are doing on their recovery from injury:
“Everything is going to plan.
“Almirón is making particularly good progress, which is good news.
“The international break may just do us a favour so let’s hope they can keep responding the way they are.”
On the West Brom match:
“We had two wonderful opportunities in the first ten minutes.
“We were a bit unfortunate on both – one was a great bit of defending.
“Hopefully we’ll get in that position tomorrow, make the right decisions, take our chances and win the match.”
On Joe Willock:
“He has played further forward before but I’m also wary of the impact he’s had in midfield so there’s a decision to be made.
“I have been very pleased with him.
“He has given us something different and has the energy in midfield and he can score a goal.”