1. ITV Report

Steve Bruce will meet Ashley this week to discuss transfers

Steve Bruce during his side's Premier League match at Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton. Credit: PA Images

Steve Bruce will sit down with Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley this week to thrash out a transfer plan for what remains of the January window.

The sportswear tycoon is expected to make a rare trip to Tyneside in the coming days. Having appointed Bruce as Rafael Benitez’s replacement during the summer, Ashley sanctioned substantial bids for record signing Joelinton and fellow forward Allan Saint-Maximin.

An injury crisis has left Bruce struggling to put together a team for Tuesday night’s FA Cup replay against League One Rochdale, but while Bruce is confident of Ashley’s continued support, he has insisted he will not spend "for the sake of it."

I’m meeting up with the owner in the next couple of days, that’s planned. As I’ve said all along, if there’s something that can really make us better and they’re available, then we’ll try to act, and I’ll ask the owner, who was very supportive in the summer.

Let’s see, let’s see what we ca get. But I’ve said all along, I won’t just bring players in for the sake of it. Most of the injuries we’ve picked up are minor, so they will be back in two or three weeks.

I’m not for just brining in players for the sake of it. They’ve got to improve us and if that can happen, then I’ll have that conversation with the owner over the next couple of days.

– Steve Bruce

Asked if he expected Ashley to be a supportive as he was during the summer window, Bruce replied:

"He was very supportive in the summer and he’s been very supportive of me full-stop, so yes, I can expect that."

Defender Paul Dummett and striker Dwight Gayle both picked up hamstring injuries during Saturday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Wolves, although skipper Jamaal Lascelles could return from a fractured tibia.

The Magpies failed to make the most of a promising first-half performance at the Crown Oil Arena and were eventually pegged back by 40-year-old Aaron Wilbraham's equaliser, and Bruce is expecting another tricky encounter at St James' Park.

Asked if his players were embarrassed to have allowed Wilbraham to score, he replied:

No, it's not embarrassing, well played to him. He's been around a long, long time and he obviously looks after himself. It's credit to him.

There are not many people playing at 40, but well done to him - and to get a goal, of course, he gets all the headlines.

– Steve Bruce