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Club News

A shot in the arm

29 March 2019

Manager Steve Bruce has assessed his options in the final third and says the picture looks brighter on that front with eight games to go.

Gary Hooper, Fernando Forestieri and Lucas Joao have come into contention for the trip to Stoke.

Steven Fletcher remains doubtful after pulling up with a groin injury before the international break but will be given every chance to prove his fitness in time.

Bruce said: “Steven Fletcher is still highly doubtful, obviously we’re at Friday now and we will give him as long as possible.

“I’ve seen a lot of things written about Steven lately but at the end of the day he had to come off in the last game and was genuinely injured.

“With half an hour to go and we’re 1-0 up at the time, the game was finely balanced, and we had to take our centre forward off which wasn’t ideal.

“He’s got an outside chance and that goes for Hooper and Joao.”

The manager has been pleased to see the likes of Hooper, Joao and Forestieri back out on the training pitch.

Likewise with Sam Winnall, the striker has worked his way back into the fold and is now racking up first team appearances and Bruce continued:

“I think the most difficult thing is the period of time a lot of them have been out and we have to mindful of that.

“It’s good to see them all knocking around the squad that is for sure. But we can’t just expect them to come in with eight games to go and hit the ground running.

“Let’s hope one of them can do but I know how difficult that is.

“The biggest weapon you always have is competition for places and the more options you have the better.

“Things are brightening up on that note so let’s hope that can give us a shot in the arm.”

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