Steve Bruce has met the media on Monday morning ahead of training.
The Newcastle United head coach speaking to journalists ahead of Tuesday night’s game against Rochdale.
Newcastle with a clear path to the fifth round, ‘only’ needing to beat two League One teams to reach that stage for the first time in 13 years of Mike Ashley rule.
Steve Bruce insists he will play his strongest available team: ‘I’ve said it since I walked through the door, we will play as strong as we possibly can.’
He did that nine days ago at Rochdale but has never explained how making seven changes for the League Cup defeat to Leicester City fitted into that commitment.
Steve Bruce has named four players who will definitely miss Tuesday night.
Bruce said Saint-Maximin and Shelvey aren’t yet ready to return, whilst more worrying, the Head Coach says Dummett and Gayle are booked in for scans today to find out the severity of the injuries that forced them off at Wolves on Saturday.
Bruce hopes Joelinton will declare himself fit and available AND that Rochdale at home will be the right opponents for the Brazilian to break a five month goalscoring drought.
“Dummett and Gayle will have scans today so they’ll not be involved tomorrow.
“Saint-Maximin has trained for the last two days but tomorrow might be a bit early.
“The same goes for Shelvey.
“It [Rochdale replay] is an opportunity for Joelinton.
“I am hoping he is going to declare himself fit this morning and hopefully get off the mark and up and running…maybe this is the ideal game for him.
“For too many years we haven’t had any cup run at all.
“It doesn’t do any harm.
“We have got two League One teams to be in the Fifth Round, so let’s go for it.
“I’ve said it since I walked through the door, we will play as strong as we possibly can.
“We have got a wonderful chance.
“They [Rochdale] made it difficult for us in the second-half but for me the game should have been put to bed in the first-half.
“If Hull can get to a cup final, why can’t Newcastle?
“That has got to be my mantra until I leave.”