MX23RW : Monday, October 21 10:59:46| >> :600:2612632:2612632:
Sep 21, 2019 at 5.30pm UK at ​St James' Park
Attendance: 43,316
NewcastleNewcastle United
0-0
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion
FT

Andy Carroll's second debut could remind Steve Bruce of "darkest hour"

Carroll's second debut could remind Bruce of
© Reuters
The striker starred as the Magpies routed the Black Cats.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce will be reminded of his "darkest hour" as a manager when he unleashes Andy Carroll on the Premier League once again.

Bruce, then in charge of the Magpies' arch-rivals Sunderland, saw the striker dismantle his rearguard at St James' Park in October 2010, paving the way for Kevin Nolan's hat-trick and a double from Shola Ameobi to clinch a 5-1 derby victory on Tyneside.

Bruce said with a grimace: "You're going to remind me of that, are you? My darkest hour.

"He was unplayable that day. He absolutely bullied us from start to finish and when he's like that... At that time, he was as good as you'd get. You look at the big, powerful number nines – did he go for a British record fee?"

Carroll did indeed leave his hometown club for Liverpool for a then British record fee of £35million in January 2011, but both his spell at Anfield and the one at West Ham which followed it were disrupted by injuries.

The 30-year-old has not played since he ran out for the Hammers in a 1-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester City on February 27 after undergoing ankle surgery.

He returned to full training this week having had to remain patient following his return to Newcastle at the end of the summer transfer window, but he has already made an impact.

Asked if he had unsettled a few defenders on the training pitch, Bruce said: "Yes, he would unsettle any b****r the way he is. He'd unsettle any b****r by the way he rampages around.

"There were times when he was younger when he was unplayable, when he was at his peak. If we see a glimpse of that, it will be worth the wait.

"He deserves a break. When you hear what's happened to his ankle – the screws weren't big enough, the operation wasn't a success – to have to go through and do it again, mentally you have to stay with it.

"Mentally, he's tough as they come. He has to be to get over it and put himself in this position, which has been a lot of hard work."

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Brighton boss Graham Potter pictured on September 14, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool98102171425
2Manchester CityMan City96122992019
3Leicester CityLeicester9522168817
4Chelsea95221914517
5Arsenal84311311215
6Crystal Palace9423810-214
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs93331513212
8Burnley93331211112
9Bournemouth93331313012
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham93331113-212
11Aston Villa93241513211
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves92521212011
13Manchester UnitedMan Utd9243109110
14Everton9315813-510
15Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd82337709
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9234912-39
17Southampton9225916-78
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9225514-98
19Norwich CityNorwich92161021-117
20Watford9045521-164

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