Steve Bruce gives worrying injury update at Newcastle United

Injury-hit Steve Bruce is down to the bare bones at Newcastle United – and having to field players in the “red zone”.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 10:16 am

The club’s injured list runs into double figures ahead of Tuesday night’s FA Cup replay against Rochdale at St James’s PArk.

Dwight Gayle and Paul Dummett were forced off in yesterday’s 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Joelinton had to play on with a groin problem.

Bruce was also reluctant to send on Andy Carroll and Matt Ritchie as they have only just recovered from injuries.

Arsene Wenger repeatedly spoke about the dangers of fielding fatigued players – he said they were in the “red zone” – during his time as Arsenal manager.

Bruce, however, has little choice given that injuries have decimated his United squad.

“Listen, they’re all in the red zone now,” said Bruce. “If I measured the two Longstaffs (Sean and Matty), and (Miguel) Almiron, they’ve ran a million miles. I can guarantee you. To ask them to go again on Tuesday is the same thing, you run the risk.

“That’s why we do a rotation, but I’ve got no choice. I can’t rotate. We did it slightly against Man United. I left out Isaac (Hayden), and I left out (Jonjo) Shelvey to be in the midfield areas. Shelvey got injured against Everton at home on Boxing Day.

Steve Bruce at Molineux.

“The numbers we’ve got is the concern, so we’ll see what we’ve got.”

Bruce – who named Under-23 players Kelland Watts and Tom Allan on the bench – had 10 fully fit senior outfield players plus Christian Atsu at Molineux.

“That’s what we are down to,” said Newcastle’s head coach. “I couldn’t risk Ritchie and Andy Carroll, because they’ve just come back. Ritchie played half an hour (against Rochdale), but trained all week, so always in our mind was Tuesday.

“That’s one on the teamsheet for Tuesday, but he’s been out for months, so we have to make sure he’s ready.”

“I will have an in-depth look at it, of course,” said Bruce. “But I genuinely believe it’s playing people tired.”