Why there were alarm bells ringing at Newcastle United before Steve Bruce's presser

There were alarm bells ringing at Newcastle United’s training ground this morning – and that wasn’t because of the injury suffered by Sean Longstaff this week.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 1:04 pm
Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.

Bruce, having had time to “take stock” during his first international break as Newcastle head coach, was relaxed and upbeat, though he first had to deliver some bad news after an early morning test of the alarm system at the club’s Benton training centre.

“Unfortunately, Sean Longstaff turned an ankle in training and won’t be in contention for the weekend,” said Bruce. “We won’t quite know how serious it is for another couple of days, but it’s a blow for us.”

Fortunately, there was better news on Andy Carroll and Matt Ritchie, though neither will be involved against the Premier League leaders.

As for taking stock, it’ll soon be time for Bruce and Steve Nickson, United’s head of recruitment, to start looking ahead to January’s transfer window.

“Over the past week we’ve been taking stock of the last seven weeks,” said Bruce, who has had a number of memorable games against Liverpool as a player and manager.

“We’ve been looking at getting injured players fit, but in the next couple of weeks, we’ll look ahead to January.

“I’ll sit down with Steve and try to identify some real quality that can make us better. We’ll be looking for that little bit of quality that can make us better, you’ve seen that with Joelinton and Allan (Saint-Maximin) at the top of the pitch.”