By Danny Mills

4th Feb, 2020 | 5:00pm

Exclusive: Mills claims Bruce cannot rely on Newcastle fan favourite after official update

Danny Mills insists that Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce cannot rely on Andy Carroll to stay fit between now and the end of the season.

The former Leeds and England defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says the 31-year-old’s injury problems speak for themselves after issues at West Ham and Liverpool.

Bruce confirmed at his pre-match press conference that he was hopeful Carroll would be back for the Premier League clash with Arsenal in a week-and-a-half, having sat out the last three league games with a knock.

With the Magpies’ attack struggling for goals – centre-forwards Carroll, Joelinton, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto contributing just one league goal between them – Bruce is looking for improvements during the second half of the campaign.

However, Mills says the boss cannot pin his hopes on the homegrown fan favourite after seeing his fitness issues rear their head once again.

“It’s always good having a fit Andy Carroll in your squad, we know how good he can be – the question is how fit is he going to be and for how long?” Mills told Football Insider.

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“That’s always been the issue at the last two clubs he’s been at and you almost have to accept now he might be available between now and the end of the season for a couple games here and there.

“That’s about it. It was never, ever going to be a signing that you could rely on on a regular basis.”

Carroll has managed to play just 14 games for the Magpies since his return to St James’ Park last summer, signing on a free contract after leaving West Ham.

He has a total of 224 Premier League appearances under his belt since making his debut for Newcastle back in February 2007.

In other Newcastle United news, Darren Bent says it was time for one man to leave the club after an official statement.