This is why Steve Bruce left Allan Saint-Maximin out of his Newcastle United squad

Steve Bruce says he HAD to leave Allan Saint-Maximin out against Everton – as he was “nowhere near ready” to play.

Saint-Maximin played 96 minutes on his comeback against Chelsea at the weekend – but he missed tonight’s extraordinary 2-2 draw at Goodison Park. The winger was left on Tyneside after being assessed yesterday by Bruce and his medical team.

Asked why Saint-Maximin wasn’t involved, head coach Bruce said: “I couldn’t after seeing him yesterday. He was nowhere near ready. We left him behind.”

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Saint-Maximin could return for Saturday’s fourth-round FA Cup tie against Oxford United at St James’s Park. Bruce said: “We hope that he’s available for Saturday. We hope that we’ve got two or three or four or five. We need a few fit.”

Nabil Bentaleb, signed on loan from Schalke 04, could make his Newcastle debut against Oxford.

Allan Saint-Maximin.Allan Saint-Maximin.
Allan Saint-Maximin.