STEVE BRUCE admits his pride at Newcastle United’s battling 3-2 win over Southampton has been tempered by the serious injuries to Javier Manquillo, Fabian Schar and Callum Wilson that are set to sideline the trio for a number of weeks.

The Magpies claimed their first home win since November despite having to finish the game with just nine men, but their victory came at a cost with yet more additions to an ever-lengthening injury list.

Manquillo hobbled off midway through the first half with what looks like a serious muscular issue, while Wilson also departed before half-time after injuring his hamstrings.

Schar was stretchered off with a knee problem with 12 minutes left, and was in obvious pain after going down after a collision.

Bruce said: “That (the injuries) is the disappointing thing for me. For too long now, we’ve had people missing with injury and illness. It’s been desperate at times.

“Unfortunately, it looks as though we’ve picked up an awful injury with Manquillo, it looks like Fab Schar has a bad knee injury, and of course Callum Wilson now has a hamstring too.

“In that respect, in the cold light of day tomorrow, I’ll assess it all and think we’re taking one steop forward and two back, which is down to illness and injury.

“You can understand why managers have been complaining because we’re simply playing too much. There’s been too much in December and January, and most clubs are falling to pieces with it.”

Nevertheless, Bruce was justifiably proud of his players’ efforts as they repelled a series of Southampton attacks in the final quarter-of-an-hour despite only having eight outfield players on the field.

Bruce said: “It’s not often you can handle it with ten men for half-an-hour, let alone have to play 25 minutes with nine men.

“I think how the game was going to be was summed up when we had a good chance to make it 4-1 just after half-time, and then within two minutes, we’ve lost a player and Ward-Prowse has come up with one of his trademark free-kicks and you’re thinking, ‘Wow, it’s going to be a difficult afternoon’, which it turned into.

“But the resilience of the team, and the effort and commitment, I thought was terrific.”