Steve Bruce reacts to Allan Saint-Maximin 'fake news' ahead of winger's Newcastle United comeback
Steve Bruce has dismissed rumours of a fall out with Allan Saint-Maximin.
The winger is set to make his Newcastle United comeback against Aston Villa tomorrow.
Saint-Maximin – who was laid low by Covid-19 late last year – is in Bruce's squad after coming through a full week’s training.
The 23-year-old missed the November 27 fixture against Crystal Palace after complaining of a calf problem – and there were rumours at the time of a disagreement with Bruce.
Saint-Maximin denied that there was a rift last month, and Bruce has spoken about his relationship with him ahead of the relegation-threatened club’s visit to Villa Park.
“That’s been written three or four times, maybe, that I’d had a fall out,” said United’s head coach. “I can honestly tell you I’ve had no real fall out with him. Where it comes from, I don’t know. It’s certainly fake news.”
Saint-Maximin – who struggled for form after signing a new deal early this season – is likely to be on the bench against Villa.
“Saint-Maximin’s in the squad,” said head coach Steve Bruce, who is under intense pressure on Tyneside following a series of defeats.
“He’s came through all week. He’s trained well, looks in decent shape, which is important. There’s no doubt, at this particular moment in time, he’ll give everybody a huge lift, because we know how important he is, especially in the forward area.
"He’s the one player that we look to (to) have a bit of creativity, so it’s good that he’s back. We’ve still got one or two problems in the centre of defence, especially with Feddy (Fernandez) and Ciaran Clark. Fab Schar, we hope, will make it. So we’re a little bit light in that area.
"I think the good news for all Newcastle fans is that Allan will take some part.
"We’re in your in the bottom half, or even in the top half, how important is one player?
"Certainly, Allan, over the last 18 months, has given everyone a lift. He’s been out for two months with this horrible virus. It’s been tough. It looks as if he’s on the mend, let’s hope he stays well.”