NEWCASTLE United boss Steve Bruce will have Jamaal Lascelles available for tomorrow’s FA Cup tie with Rochdale.
The Magpies’ skipper has been out of action with a knee injury since November, but the third round replay at St James’ Park will see him return.
Matt Ritchie is also available and is set to start.
Bruce, set for a meeting with Mike Ashley at the club this week, said: “I’ve said since I came through the door we will play as strong as we possibly can. We have a wonderful chance, dispatch Rochdale at home. We have a replay and we go as strong as we can.’’
He added: “We’ve done a roll call to a degree this morning – Dummett and Gayle have scans. Allan Saint-Maximum is training again, last two games, but tomorrow is a bit early.
“Instead of 12/13 out we’ve eight or nine.
“Until the results of the scan we don’t know the severity – one is booked in at 10.45, one 11.15.’’
Dale earned a replay at St James’ thanks to a leveller from Aaron Wilbrahim.
The 40-year-old is set to be involved tomorrow as well and Bruce, asked if it was embarrassing his players couldn’t contain the veteran, said: “It’s not embarrassing, fair play to him. He’s been around a long time, he looks after himself and well done to him. He gets the headlines and scores and we have to be aware of him.
“He’s played a long time, we don’t often find a 40-year-old playing, so he must keep himself in good nick.’’
Victory over Dale would see the Magpies meet Oxford at home in the fourth round and Bruce said: “The FA Cup, it doesn’t do any harm to have a cup run, let’s try and tackle it head on. We have an opportunity, two division one teams in the next rounds.
“It’s a great opportunity, that’s all it is. We have to perform and get through.
“I’ve said many times we went on a good cup run at Hull and my whole perception of management changed. Wigan, Hull, Sunderland was about staying up no matter what. We got a good run in the cup, got used to winning and if the draw is favourable and Hull can get to the final then why can’t Newcastle?’’