Steve Bruce reveals THIS Newcastle United defender has given him 'food for thought' ahead of FA Cup clash

Steve Bruce has a defensive conundrum to solve at Newcastle United – but full-back Emil Krafth might well have provided the answer.

Saturday, 4th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 4th January 2020, 6:00 am
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Divock Origi of Liverpool with Emile Krafth of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United at Anfield on September 14, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Of United's SIX central defensive options only Federico Fernandez is fit which has forced Bruce into a rethink ahead of today’s FA Cup third round clash at Rochdale.

But instead of a potentially damaging switch back to a four-man defence – trialled only once in the Leicester City hammering in September – Bruce feels he may have stumbled on an answer to his backline question.

“We have five defenders missing so we try and adapt and play people who we think can do a job there for us,” said Bruce.

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“Krafth has played 45 minutes there and has given me food for thought.”

On team selection, he continued: “We will be as strong as we possibly can.

“Five out of six central defenders are out (Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett, Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune) and it’s those who don’t usually get injured.”

Newcastle have been plagued with early cup exits over the course of the last decade – and it's a decline Bruce is keen to arrest while he's on Tyneside

“I think the whole job comes with baggage on your shoulders. As a supporter I’ve seen us go out early lots of times,” said Bruce.

"We have to be focused and in on Monday for the draw. A cup here would be good for Newcastle and we thrive on it.”