Newcastle manager Steve Bruce counting on Andy Carroll 'lift' against Brighton
Last Updated: 20/09/19 10:57am
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce is counting on Andy Carroll to "give everybody a lift" if the striker lines up against Brighton on Saturday to make his first appearance since re-signing for his boyhood club.
Carroll, who came through Newcastle's academy before departing for Liverpool in 2011, returned to St James' Park on a free transfer last month, having been released by West Ham at the end of last season.
The injury-prone 30-year-old underwent ankle surgery in April, but having trained without issue for the last two weeks, Carroll is expected to feature against Brighton on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
"Touch wood as long he comes through today," Bruce said. "He's trained all of last week and all of this week so he's put himself in contention, which is good news.
"Since he's got himself fit and he's been in and around outside on the grass and training with us for the last week, it's been pretty evident that he's given everybody a lift.
"Hopefully can give the home supporters a lift. He's the local lad who's come back home, so good to see him involved again."
Bruce has been handed a double fitness-boost by the return of summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin, who made two substitute appearances in August before suffering a thigh injury.
The absence of Saint-Maximin and Carroll, along with Dwight Gayle, has left a heavy load on club-record signing Joelinton, who has scored just one goal since arriving from Hoffenheim.
Bruce is hoping the reinforcements can help Newcastle improve on the four goals they've managed in their opening five games, and is open to the idea of pairing Carroll with Joelinton.
"Why not? I've seen Jo play towards the left when he played at Hoffenheim against Manchester City in the Champions League 18 months ago, so I've got no qualms that he can adapt.
"If we have to play the two of them up top, then we'll play the two of them up top - it will certainly be a handful that's for sure.
"A big physical threat, but also can play a bit too."