Newcastle United injuries, Willock, Woodman & ASM - everything Steve Bruce said ahead of West Ham presser

Newcastle United are just days away from their Premier League opener with West Ham United - and ahead of his press conference on Friday, here’s everything head coach Steve Bruce has been saying about pre-season and progress at St James’ Park this summer.

<p>Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United runs with the ball during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Doncaster Rovers and Newcastle United at at Keepmoat Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Doncaster, England. </p>

Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United runs with the ball during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Doncaster Rovers and Newcastle United at at Keepmoat Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Doncaster, England.

What is the injury situation at NUFC?

“I would like one or two to be a little bit more match fit, of course, but with the problems we have had, we only really have Paul Dummett (injured) going into the season.

“In terms of getting through pre-season and having people on the pitch, we look OK.”

Will Allan Saint-Maximin stay at United?

“Look, you can never say never, but yes, absolutely, 100% I would say we’re keeping him.

“I said when I walked through the door two years ago - and he did, too - that Newcastle supporters would enjoy watching him.

“And to be fair whether you are a Newcastle fan or not, he is worth the admission fee alone.

“His trickery, his pace, his power - he is such a natural, natural footballer. He brightened up the day and gave us that threat.

“Let’s hope we can keep him fit. He was out for the best part of four and a half months last season. He has only played three 90 minutes in a year. It is vitally important we keep him fit because we know what he gives us.”

On the return of fans...

“It is great to see fans back at the game. I know how much it means to them.

“I think they will have enjoyed the second half. We need to make sure next week there is even more of them in the stadium.

“It’s what it is all about - and it is what makes the club unique.”

Will Freddie Woodman start the season in goal?

“He’s in pole position, simply because of the problems we’ve got with (Martin) Dubravka, and we’ve got with Karl (Darlow).

“So he is in pole position and I think he has done well, has been mature in his performance - and you can see he has been out for two years playing first-team football. I am very, very pleased with him.”

On signing Joe Willock...

“I would love to make a signing before West Ham - and we are pursuing our number one target and let’s hope we can make a breakthrough. If that is before next week? We will be trying our best.”