Steve Bruce in buoyant mood ahead of tonight's FA Cup replay vs Rochdale 
ROCHDALE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04: Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United celebrates with teammate Joelinton after scoring his team's first goal during the FA Cup Third Round match between Rochdale AFC and Newcastle United at Spotland Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Rochdale, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The disappointment for Newcastle United in the second half against Rochdale a week and a half ago meant the two sides will meet again tonight at St James' Park

The game should have been put to bed before half-time, and they were consequently put to the sword by their League One hosts in the second half after failing to take their chances.

Steve Bruce's side put in a good shift on Saturday and picked up another 1-1 draw which was a good response, but lost two more bodies in Paul Dummett and Dwight Gayle leaving even less to pick from tonight.

Too early for some 

In his pre-match press conference, Bruce admitted he was satisfied with the progress of Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey in their comebacks but the Rochdale replay might come too soon.

"We've got one one or two back on the grass.

"Allan is back training, he's trained for the past two days but tomorrow wil be a bit early, same with Shelvey.

"So instead of 12 or 13, it's probably eight or nine!" Bruce joked referring to the number of players ruled out.

"Until we know the results of the scans then we won't know the severity and time-scale (for Dummett and Gayle)".  

Jamaal Lascelles has been in full-training and is expected to play a part, which comes as good news after Dummett's injury at the weekend.

Targeting cup success

It has always been easier said than done at Newcastle, but Bruce is adamant that a Emirates FA Cup run will benefit his squad.

Bruce has history with the competition as a manager, when he took Hull City to the final in 2014 but fell just short in a 3-2 defeat to Arsenal. 

"I've said it since I walked through the door here we will play as strong as we possibly can and that's not going to change.

"We've got a wonderful chance, we've got to dispatch Rochdale at home - they made it difficult for us second half but for me the game should have been put to bed in the first half but it wasn't".

"I've said it all along that it (a cup run) doesn't do any harm, for too many years we haven't had any cup run at all, lets try tackle it head on.

"We've got two division one teams to get to the fifth round so it's a great opportunity," he said.

 

 

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