Joe Willock's fitness being assessed ahead of crunch clash against Leeds United

By Lee Ryder

Newcastle United are assessing Joe Willock ahead of Friday night's visit of Leeds at St James' Park.

Willock was taken off with a knock in the last throes of the 4-1 defeat at Manchester United on Saturday with Steve Bruce concerned about his goal-getting midfielder after the match.

After the game, Bruce told the club's TV channel: "We have a disappointed dressing room with a few knocks.

"Joe Willock, Ciaran Clark and Javier Manquillo."

Since arriving at United for his second stint, Willock has appeared in three Premier League games and made a substitute appearance in the EFL Cup against Burnley.

Willock had only appeared in a couple of pre-season games as sub for Arsenal in pre-season and arrived striving for match fitness.

Bruce stated after the 2-0 defeat against Aston Villa that it was not a risk to play him from the start in his first few games since signing on a permanent deal.

Bruce said then: "Why was it a surprise?

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"When is he going to play minutes?

"He's a fit lad who has trained all summer, he hasn't played nearly enough minutes but I never thought I was at risk with him because of the fitness levels Joe has got."


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