Bruce hopes Carroll catches a break
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is ready to unleash Andy Carroll on the Premier League again and says it is about time things started going right for the striker.
There were more than a few eyebrows raised when Bruce brought the former fan favourite back to the club from West Ham in the summer as Carroll has hardly played over the past two seasons after suffering one injury after another with the Hammers.
The 30-year-old has not played since he ran out for West Ham in a 1-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester City on February 27 after undergoing ankle surgery.
He returned to full training this week having had to remain patient following his return to Newcastle at the end of the summer transfer window, but he has already made an impact in training where he has been terrorising his team-mates.
Asked if he had unsettled a few defenders on the training pitch, Bruce said: “Yes, he would unsettle anyone the way he is. He’d unsettle anyone by the way he rampages around.
“There were times when he was younger when he was unplayable, when he was at his peak. If we see a glimpse of that, it will be worth the wait.
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“He deserves a break. When you hear what’s happened to his ankle – the screws weren’t big enough, the operation wasn’t a success – to have to go through and do it again, mentally you have to stay with it.
“Mentally, he’s tough as they come. He has to be to get over it and put himself in this position, which has been a lot of hard work.”
Carroll was at the peak of his powers when he left his hometown club for Liverpool for a then British record fee of £35m in January 2011, but both his spell at Anfield and the one at West Ham which followed it, were disrupted by injuries.
Bruce and the Toon Army will be hoping he can recapture just a little of his former glory, starting on Saturday against Brighton at home.