'It’s the hard part': Steve Bruce has a decision to make at Newcastle United

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Steve Bruce has a selection dilemma at the St Mary’s Stadium this afternoon.

Bruce’s Newcastle United side played some of their best football so far this season in Tuesday night’s 3-2 FA Cup win over West Bromwich Albion.

And Bruce must decide how many changes to make to his 14th-placed side against Southampton, having left Jonjo Shelvey, Dwight Gayle, Federico Fernandez and Matt Ritchie out of his starting XI at The Hawthorns.

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“You would rather have that than what we were six weeks ago, because there was large parts against West Brom where I left people out, like Jonjo and Feddy, who have done very well,” said United’s head coach. “It’s the hard part, but I would rather have than what we had a few weeks ago.”

Gayle, back from a hamstring injury, made a rare Premier League start in last weekend’s goalless draw against Burnley. Bruce said: “He’s certainly in contention.”