Steve Bruce makes decision on Dwight Gayle ahead of FA Cup tie

Dwight Gayle scored for fun at The Hawthorns last season – but the striker won’t start tonight’s FA Cup tie.

Monday, 2nd March 2020, 10:30 pm

Gayle scored 24 goals on loan at Championship club West Bromwich Albion last season.

However, the 29-year-old has had a frustrating campaign, so far, back at St James’s Park, having started the season in the treatment room.

Gayle made his first Premier League start for the club at home since May 2018 at the weekend, when he led the line in the goalless draw against Burnley.

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Steve Bruce will not name Gayle in his starting XI for United’s fifth-round tie, as he feels that would be a “risk”. He will instead be named on the bench.

Asked if Gayle could start two games in four days, Bruce said: “I wouldn’t have thought so, I couldn’t take that risk, I wouldn’t have thought. First game back, he was tired (on Sunday).”

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and defender Javier Manquillo – who both returned from injuries at the weekend – will also be left out of the starting XI.

“I’ve got to look at the lads who have just come back,” said Bruce, United’s head coach.

Dwight Gayle.

“It’s a big ask for Manquillo, Jonjo and Dwight, because they’ve all been out six to eight weeks. They’re the ones I’m looking at.”

Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka will be rested – Karl Darlow will deputise at the stadium where he made his Premier League debut for Newcastle in December 2015 – while Bruce has a concern over winger Allan Saint-Maximin, who has a sore back and hamstring.

Saint-Maximin – who came off the bench against Burnley – scored an extra-time winner for Newcastle against Oxford United in the last round of the competition.

Bruce said: “Saint-Maximin’s a difficult one, because I’m always wary of his hamstring. When he’s a little bit sore and stuff, we’re a little bit cagey with him. We’ll see how he trains.”

Striker Joelinton – who also scored against Oxford – is likely to start against West Brom.