Steve Bruce issues Newcastle United updates on Martin Dubravka and Freddie Woodman

Steve Bruce has told Freddie Woodman that Newcastle United must come first – after blocking a loan move to Bournemouth.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 6:00 am

Woodman was this week left in limbo after a loan move to the Championship club wasn’t signed off because of a foot injury suffered by No.1 Martin Dubravka, who had surgery last week.

The 24-year-old goalkeeper was told to report to the club’s training base in Yorkshire ahead of yesterday’s friendly against York City, which Newcastle lost 1-0.

Woodman and Mark Gillespie, last season’s third-choice goalkeeper, were subsequently told to self isolate as close contacts of Karl Darlow, who tested positive for Covid-19 at the club’s training camp.

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Freddie Woodman playing for Swansea City last season.
Freddie Woodman playing for Swansea City last season.

Bruce, with all four of the club’s senior goalkeepers unavailable, handed 20-year-old Dan Langley his debut in the game at the LNER Community Stadium.

“Martin picked up a foot injury with his country (Slovakia) at the Euros, and is having an operation,” said head coach Bruce.

“We’ll not know how bad that is (until later today).

"Karl Darlow, unfortunately, picked up Covid. So we felt it best that the people who were close to him, i.e. during dinner, self-isolate, so we pulled them out of the group.

Martin Dubravka.

"The group has been tested for the last three days. Thankfully everybody else is negative. It shows you we’re not immune to it. We’ve tried our utmost, but it still lingers around, which is difficult to manage.”

Woodman – who has two years left on his contract at St James’s Park – has spent the past two years on loan at Swansea City.

Asked where Dubravka’s injury left Woodman ahead of the new season, Bruce said: "Well, we'll not know the extent of the operation with Dubravka (until later today).

"He picked up something similar last pre-season, running in the woods. He complained of it during the Championships, so we'll not know until the next 24 to 48 hours, and then we'll see how long he's out and what we need to do.

“I understand Freddie will be a little bit disappointed at this moment, but I've got to do what's best for Newcastle, and I'll always do that. The club comes first."

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