STEVE BRUCE has admitted he will struggle to make any more additions in the final 12 days of the transfer window unless he can move two or three of Newcastle United’s fringe players out of the club.

While he insists he is satisfied with his transfer business this summer, Bruce would ideally like to make at least one more signing before the window closes on October 5, with another attacking player top of his list of priorities.

However, once the window closes, he has to submit a 25-man squad list to the Premier League, and as things stand, he has around 29 senior players vying for a place in his plans.

A number of those on the fringe of things will be involved in this evening’s Carabao Cup third-round game at Morecambe, with Bruce set to make a full 11 changes from the side that started Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Brighton.

DeAndre Yedlin, Dan Barlaser, Christian Atsu and Jacob Murphy will travel to Morecambe’s Mazuma Stadium, but Bruce is hoping to move all four out of the club in the next week or so, and if he is unable to do so, he accepts it will be all-but-impossible to make any more signings.

“I have to try to work on the size of the squad because we can’t just keep collecting players,” said the Newcastle boss. “We’ve got five or six training with the Under-23s, and that’s not healthy at all for anybody.

“That (moving players out) has to be a big part of the remit between now and the end of the window. We’ve brought in some really good additions to the squad, and at the moment, only two have gone. So, we have to try to make room.

“It’s always a difficult one. If you remember last year, (Jack) Colback and (Henri) Saivet missed out (on the squad), and if you look at somebody like Jack, he’s playing regularly now for Notts Forest.

“There are always difficult decision to be made, and I’ve gone on record to say that two or three players in particular need to go and get fixed up somewhere and find a new home if they can. It’s not healthy that they’re training with the Under-23s.

“I’m not sending them down there as a punishment, it’s just that we want to work with a certain number, and once your numbers start to get towards 28, it’s very difficult. We don’t want to work with that number – if possible, we want to work with 20 outfield players every day.”

This evening’s cup tie does not feature especially highly on Newcastle’s list of priorities, hence Bruce’s willingness to make wholesale changes, but a route has nevertheless opened up that could afford the Magpies a relatively simple passage to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Win tonight against a Morecambe side that shipped five goals at home to Cambridge United at the weekend, and Newcastle will head to either League Two side Newport County or Championship team in Watford in the fourth round next week.

Triumph in that game, and the Magpies will have a place in the quarter-finals, which are due to be staged in the week before Christmas.

“We will put a strong team out,” said Bruce. “There’s people who desperately need to play and we could have seven games in the first three weeks of the season so the game management of a few is going to be critical and we will certainly make changes.

“We all have to look at the situation and have a bit of rotation. But, now, we’ve got a squad of players where we’re able to pick a different XI and still have a team that should be good enough and strong enough to get us into the next round.”

Neither Allan Saint-Maximin nor Jamal Lewis will be involved tonight, but scans have revealed that the injuries the pair suffered against Brighton at the weekend are not serious.

“Saint-Maximin has had a scan on his ankle,” said Bruce. “He’s tweaked it and twisted it, but we don’t think it’s that serious. He’ll have a chance for Sunday.

“We were worried about Jamal’s eye but that seems to be okay, although it’s closed at the minute and has a cut on it. He won’t be involved in the cup game, but thankfully there’s no lasting damage.”

Newcastle (probable, 4-2-3-1): Gillespie; Krafth, Manquillo, Clark, Yedlin; Barlaser, S Longstaff; Atsu, Almiron, Ritchie; Joelinton.