MX23RW : Friday, February 26 18:20:14| >> :60:1904:1904:

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce excited for Allan Saint-Maximin return

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce excited for Allan Saint-Maximin return
© Reuters
The Frenchman last played for Newcastle on November 21.

Steve Bruce is pinning his hopes of sparking a Newcastle revival on the impending return of Allan Saint-Maximin following his lengthy coronavirus lay-off.

The 23-year-old Frenchman has been out of action for more than two months following the outbreak of Covid-19 which prompted the closure of the club's training headquarters in November, and his absence has robbed head coach Bruce of one of his brightest sparks during a nine-game winless run.

However, Saint-Maximin has trained this week and has been included in the squad for Saturday evening's Premier League trip to Aston Villa, and that can only be good news for a club which has seen its season unravel alarmingly since the middle of December.

Bruce said: "Arguably our most creative player, the one who's your player of the year, then of course you're going to miss him and we have missed him for the best part of a couple of months.

"When he was in and around the team, we looked a threat, we could play that little bit deeper and play teams on the counter-attack.

"If you are a mainly counter-attacking team, then you have to have pace on the turnover and without Allan, then we haven't got that blistering pace that he possesses, so we're delighted to see him back.

"He will certainly make us a little bit more entertaining, he will certainly help us win a few games, so it is good to see him in and around it again."

With the likes of defenders Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar, who have been playing in recent weeks, still coping with the after-effects of the virus, Saint-Maximin's condition has been closely monitored.

Bruce said: "It's fair to say his fitness levels are very, very good, which is good news. Of course we've got to get the balance right and I wouldn't expect him to be starting on Saturday. But he'll be in and among the squad and there if he's needed."

Saint-Maximin last played in a 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea on November 21 and although the Magpies won the two games immediately after, they have not tasted victory since.

Bruce said: "It's been difficult – let's not beat about the bush – but then again, we're not alone.

"If Liverpool, who are the champions of the country, can't score for six hours, then it shows you how hard this league is and what league we're playing in, so we're not alone."

ID:431688:cQx:QQ:

Click here for more stories about Steve Bruce

Click here for more stories about Aston Villa

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is shown a red card on January 20, 2021
Read Next:
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith "reluctantly" accepts FA charge
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Championship
La Liga
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
Scottish Championship
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Danish Superliga
NIFL Premiership
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Eerste Divisie
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Australian A-League
J1 League
Premier League 2 - Div 1
Premier League 2 - Div 2
Gallagher Premiership
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City25185250153559
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd25147453322149
3Leicester CityLeicester25154644271749
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham25136639291045
5Chelsea25127641251643
6Liverpool25117745341140
7Everton2412483733440
8Aston Villa23113937261136
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs24106837271036
10Leeds UnitedLeeds25112124343035
11Arsenal25104113126534
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2596102632-633
13Crystal Palace2595112943-1432
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2577111830-1228
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2551192632-626
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2574142643-1725
18Fulham25410112132-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2528151955-3614
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2532201541-2611

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!