Callum Wilson’s injury blow will have been giving Steve Bruce sleepless nights at Newcastle United, according to Alex McLeish.
The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the Magpies had failed to cope without the loss of the 29-year-old.
As revealed by Football Insider, Wilson is confident he will be fit enough to feature against Tottenham this weekend after six games out through injury.
The 29-year-old picked up a hamstring problem in the 3-2 win over Southampton in early February.
Newcastle have not won a game since, with three draws and three defeats to their name.
The Magpies have also been without mercurial winger Allan Saint-Maximin since he limped off in the 1-1 draw with Wolves.
McLeish admitted losing a player of Wilson’s quality was a sucker punch for Bruce.
He also warned the striker would still take time to get up to speed when he does return.
McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Steve will be having sleepless nights having lost guys like that.
“It’s the little pieces of building a football team and getting the jigsaw to perfection. It took Jurgen Klopp three-and-a-half years, maybe four, for him to do it. Steve Bruce has maybe dabbled a little bit but that’s what we’re saying.
“We’re talking about top players and when a club like Newcastle, fighting against relegation, lose a player like Callum Wilson. That is then a tough sleepless few days for Steve Bruce until he gets fit again.
“I’m not saying he’s going to come back and produce the magic. Having been injured, he’s probably got to find his pace again. In saying that, it does cost you, I’m afraid, when you lose your best players.”
Wilson is Newcastle’s top scorer this season with 10 Premier League goals, six more than any of his teammates.