PPSSHH. There is good and bad news on the injury front for Newcastle United this weekend.
First of all Magpies striker Shola Ameobi is injured.
Secondly so too is Hull defender Paul McShane.
I’ll leave you to work out which is which.
Speaking of McShane, the former Sunderland defender is a classic example of why Newcastle should not get carried away just yet by what is in danger of becoming a decent start to the season.
“Class, just class,” was the expression used by many a red and white fan after he marked some bloke called Darren Bent out of the game on his debut against Spurs in 2007.
By the following April you could hear the groans from the away end after Roy Keane recalled him for the 2-0 derby defeat at St James’s Park.
So if we cannot applaud McShane on to the pitch then at least there is the return of former Stadium of Light boss Steve Bruce to welcome.
If Sunderland chairman Ellis Short’s fifth boss in five years, Paolo di Canio, was the pantomime villain at Steve Harper’s recent charity game then number three is undoubtedly the pantomime dame.
You know the script. Pontificate blindly on a particular point before getting shot down immediately by a lethal return.
In Bruce’s case he normally produces the one about his Birmingham City side’s 5-1 win at Newcastle in a 2007 FA Cup replay.
Fair enough, Steve, although you usually forget to mention that the same Newcastle relegated City just months earlier.
As for tomorrow’s game, Hull proved when they visited Chelsea and Manchester City in their two away games this season that they will be no pushoevers.
Whether they will adopt a more attacking approach against, how can we say this nicely, more limited opposition is likely to be key.
If they do then they could play into Newcastle’s hands.
Should they hold back then the expectant crowd need to stay behind Alan Pardew’s side during what could be another long afternoon.
I’d take another late goal for a 1-0 win now.
– GAVIN LEDWITH