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Steve Bruce has explained his Newcastle United ‘blueprint’ for success in Sky Sports exclusive

2 years ago

An interesting one from Sky Sports on Saturday.

Billed as an ‘exclusive’, they have been speaking to Steve Bruce and he has given them ‘Newcastle’s blueprint for improvement’ once he’s had the time to work his magic…

Some very ‘interesting’ claims and reasoning from Steve Bruce.

The head coach saying that sooner rather than later, he will be ditching the back three/five system that Rafa Benitez had working so successfully and instead play with a back four – ‘100 per cent’ this will happen according to Bruce.

As for the thousands of empty seats and under 40,000 in St James Park for the Bright on match, Steve Bruce insists he can quickly change that with a couple of wins, saying ‘The mood within a week would change.’

A lot of what he says is clearly trying to blame Rafa Benitez.

Steve Bruce saying that Newcastle didn’t have enough possession (averaged 42.9%) last season and didn’t score enough goals (42).

Bruce wanting to put this forward as an excuse for this season clearly.

However, Rafa Benitez simply put out the team and formation he thought best each week to try and get a result.

Plus the mood/style completely changed once Almiron played, the first 25 games saw 21 goals but the final 13 once Almiron made his debut saw 21 goals at an average of 1.62 goals per game.

This is Miguel Almiron who Steve Bruce doesn’t have a clue what to do with.

If Steve Bruce fails, it will be down to him, shameless if he keeps coming out with this kind of stuff having digs at Rafa Benitez.

Steve Bruce speaking to Sky Sports:


“It’s very difficult, you cannot just turn around a style overnight but we were better when we made the changes against Brighton and that’s obviously a positive.

“The biggest thing though, and we struggled with it last year as well, is possession.

“We were right near the bottom of the league last year in terms of possession so that must improve. We need to look after the ball a bit better and if we can do that it will help us. It’s something we need to work on hard on the training field.

“We turned the ball over a lot against Brighton. It was difficult enough trying to get it but when we did, we turned it over too quickly. We have to look after the ball better in order get ourselves a foothold in the game, and that’s what we’ll be trying to improve on.”

“It’s always good to have a clear week but unfortunately the weekend always comes around quickly. I’ve got a great job until a Saturday or a Sunday, but it’s always helpful to have a clear to week to work on what we’re trying to do and get the message across ahead of the weekend”

Back four?:

(Asked if Newcastle will use a back four going forward)

“Yes, 100 per cent. But if you look at what I’ve inherited we’ve got six centre-halves at the club and the club have played with three centre-backs. But it’s something we’ll look at, yes.

“In the Premier League now, I think you need the ability to change. The top clubs change. Spurs in particular have played a back three and very quickly change into a back four. So, it’s something you can have up your sleeve.

“We switched to a back four against Brighton and we were much, much better and it’s given me plenty of food for thought going forward.”

Style of play:

“Against the bigger teams, of course [there’s a defensive mentality].

“Against the bigger teams you have to set up in a way that’s difficult to beat. You’ve got to work off a certain game plan and that will never change.

“But the things we have to improve on is possession of the ball, being a threat and of course, scoring a goal. If you looked at last year, in my opinion, we didn’t score enough goals. That’s the difficulty now and we have to improve

“We have to create more, and we have to be more clinical.

“In training it’s easy to hit the back of the net all the time, not a problem. The only thing you can do is keep repeating it and repeating it, and that’s all you can do as a coach. Hopefully, when the chances come in a game we can be a bit more clinical.”

Falling attendances:

“It’s something that will improve by getting a few results and having a team the fans enjoy watching again.

“That’s got to be my focus. I’ll just keep my head down and try to get a few results which always brings people back to their seats.

“It is what it is at the moment and the only way that will change is if we can string a couple of results together. The mood within a week would change.

“We know out of the six games we’ve played, we’ve played three of the top teams, so it’s been a difficult start. We’ve got Leicester now, then Chelsea and Manchester United. It’s been a difficult start in terms of the teams we’ve played and the injuries we’ve had to contend with, but we’ll keep plodding away.

“When we beat Tottenham, the mood was incredible, so we’ve got to keep bashing away, starting at Leicester.”


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