Steve Bruce has given his latest injury and fitness update.
Speaking to the media on Friday, the NUFC Head Coach has been talking about availability for the Manchester City match.
After four points in two restart games have made Newcastle effectively safe from relegation, thoughts turn to the FA Cup.
The NUFC Head Coach repeatedly said about trying to protect the players from injury after restart, with so many games in quick succession after a gap of 106 days between matches.
So, fair to say Newcastle fans were stunned when Steve Bruce played exactly the same 11 players against Villa ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final.
Unbelievable, particularly when the win over Sheffield United had meant safety all but certain.
Sure enough, workaholics Matt Ritchie and Isaac Hayden forced off with injuries on Wednesday night, whilst key players Almiron and ASM put everything into their second match only 72 hours apart.
So how are Newcastle United looking ahead of Manchester City and trying to reach the FA Cup semi-final?
Asked about those two new injuries to Ritchie and Hayden, Steve Bruce this morning told the media:
“We’ll see how they [Hayden and Ritchie] are today.
“It’s a big training session today as yesterday was just a recovery day.
“We’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t think we’d pick up soft tissue injuries so we’ll see how we are over the next 24-48 hours.”
“They were [both] a little bit sore yesterday and we’ll see how they are again today.
“We’ll know more tomorrow.”
So Steve Bruce saying it will be late fitness tests for both Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie on Sunday.
The head coach also waiting on Matty Longstaff and Sean Longstaff to see whether they have a chance of being involved against Manchester City. Steve Bruce saying he is ‘hoping’ they might make it.
Completing the six doubts [unless any new injuries Steve Bruce isn’t revealing] for the FA Cup match, Florian Lejeune is working his way back to full fitness, whilst Ciaran Clark will surely not be involved as he recovers from an ankle operation.