Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has faced the press ahead of his side’s visit to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
The Magpies are entering the fixture as underdogs and would do very well to get even a point in north London. However, Bruce will be desperate to simply see an improved showing from his side, following their dire display against Norwich City last time out. If things don’t improve quickly, then the manager’s position could come under threat.
Ahead of the weekend’s game, Bruce has given a fitness update on the attacking options in his squad. As quoted by The Chronicle, Bruce said, Joelinton is “fine”, and Allan Saint-Maximin is “in contention”. Bruce also said, “it’s still too early for [Andy] Carroll and [Dwight] Gayle”, as quoted by talkSPORT.
Newcastle fans will be glad to hear that Joelinton is “fine”. That presumably means that the Brazilian will start against Spurs. The supporters will certainly be keen to see more of the £40 million club-record summer signing. They’ll also be optimistic that fellow new arrival Saint-Maxmin will play a part on Sunday. Neither of the new arrivals have been able to have much of an impact so far though.
In fact, Newcastle’s toothlessness in attack is a growing concern. The Magpies have only registered one Premier League goal so far this season and have struggled to create chances. The eventual returns of Carroll and Gayle will boost Bruce’s options in the final third, but it won’t give fans much more hope. Carroll’s terrible injury record means that he cannot be relied upon, and Gayle has struggled to be prolific in the top flight before. All in all, Newcastle’s striking options are far from inspiring.