By Kevin Phillips

16th Jan, 2020 | 5:00pm

Exclusive: Phillips tips Bruce to hold crisis talks over Newcastle player lifestyles

Kevin Phillips has claimed Steve Bruce will be holding crisis meetings with his Newcastle United players to get to the bottom of the club’s massive casualty list.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England striker and former assistant coach explained why the manager will have left no stone unturned in analysing why so many of his senior squad are sidelined.

Questions have been asked of Newcastle’s injury prevention methods after the club started the new year with an astonishing 11 players out.

Asked by Football Insider if he had ever seen anything like United’s injury list, Phillips replied: “Never – 10, 12 players injured. I’ve been at 9 clubs in my career, coached at three, never seen an injury list like that.

“You bring into question why you get some injuries, you’re analysing. Steve will analyse the training pitch, (the pitch at) St James’ Park, they won’t leave any stone unturned as to why they are getting so many injuries but unfortunately sometimes it just happens.”

Phillips suggested alarm bells will be ringing among Bruce and his backroom staff.

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“Yeah, of course. You start questioning everything, you have meetings with the medical department, you have a meeting with the groundsman: ‘Have you done anything different to the pitch?’

“You’ll have the sports science (team), are we doing anything different in terms of training methods? You want to try cover every base, unfortunately sometimes it just happens.

“They played a lot of games of Christmas but can you use that as an excuse? Because every team is in this situation.

“Then you start looking at the players living right off the pitch, there could be a meeting with the players: ‘Are you living right? Are you eating right, sleeping right?’ because all these things, if you’re not doing it right will cause injury.”

In other Newcastle United news, it can be REVEALED that the club have opened talks with Arsenal to sign versatile forward.