This dedicated player is 'first in and last to go' at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce has a decision to make ahead of Newcastle United’s visit to Villa Park.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th November 2019, 4:45 pm

Bruce could be without defender Ciaran Clark, who picked up a knock on international duty with the Republic of Ireland after scoring in successive Premier League games.

Captain Jamaal Lascelles is also out with a fractured tibia, and Paul Dummett is vying for a recall along with fit-again duo Florian Lejeune and Fabian Schar.

Lejeune has recovered from surgery on a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, his second such injury, while Schar is available after recovering from a knee injury.

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Florian Lejeune.
Florian Lejeune.

"The big one is obviously Flo, because he's been out for so long,” said head coach Bruce. “But he's done everything – he's played, he's got minutes under his belt on the training ground and he's ready to go.

"The same goes for Schar. As long as they come through unscathed, then they'll both come into contention, and that can only be a good thing. There comes a point where you can't keep training and training and training. You have to be thrown into the deep end, if that's the right word.

"But (Lejeune) is a wonderful pro. He's the first in, the last to go and he's done everything he possibly can. He feels he's ready, and I think that's the most important thing – he knows his knee better than anybody. He's done all his minutes and he's ready to go.

"If there's anywhere on the pitch we're blessed, (it's in central defence). We've got six of them who are very, very decent at what they do.”

Ciaran Clark.