Steve Bruce hints at change to his Newcastle United team

Steve Bruce could recall Joelinton to his starting XI against Southampton tomorrow – despite a winning start for Andy Carroll.

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 4:50 pm

Carroll made his first Newcastle United start in nine years in Thursday night’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

The striker, re-signed by the club in August, replaced £40million summer signing Joelinton in Bruce’s team.

Bruce, United's head coach, must now decide whether a second successive start is “asking too much” of Carroll.

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Andy Carroll.

“I’ve not even decided that yet, but we’ll come to Sunday and see how he is,” said Bruce. “We’ll see how he recovers and how he is Saturday. That might be asking too much, but I’ll see how he is.”

Carroll – who had ankle surgery late last season – had to wait four months for the first start of his second spell at the club.

“He can be hugely important,” said Bruce. “We’ve got to make sure we look after him. He was performing in training for the four or five weeks before he unfortunately nicked a little rib muscle, which is always painful.

“I just thought on a night like this, against their three centre-backs and the physicality of Sheffield United, he would cause them a problem.

“The longer it went on, the better he got. An assist in his first game. Can’t be bad. So he’ll be a big asset to us if he stays well, and that is the big whole thing for me, my staff, my medical staff – to keep him right, because if he’s right, he’ll be a handful for anybody.”