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Opinion

Steve Bruce to stand or fall on results of this four game mini-league

3 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce is looking forward to some easier games.

The Newcastle United head coach saying ‘We knew it was going to be a difficult start…we knew we had Arsenal, Man Utd, Tottenham, Liverpool and Leicester.’

Bruce now looking ahead…’no disrespect to the teams we play next but we have got teams who we think are going to be in and around us.’

Looking at the Premier League table as it now stands after Sheffield United beat Arsenal on Monday night, it throws up an interesting divide in the games played so far:

So far, Newcastle have played five of the top seven and four of the bottom seven.

Now it is time for the bit in the middle.

The next four NUFC games are Wolves (H), West Ham (A), Bournemouth (H) and Villa (A).

These are the four teams currently occupying 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th.

So Steve Bruce faces an upcoming four game mini-league against teams he thinks are ‘going to be in and around us’, the head coach obviously aspiring to mid-table.

This could make or break Steve Bruce and this Newcastle United season.

If Newcastle get a couple of wins in these four games and are on 14 points or better after 13 matches, then NUFC would be in a decent position to be going on and hopefully at least avoiding relegation.

However, if things go badly then Newcastle could find themselves getting left behind in the bottom three.

With now pretty much a full squad to choose from and having played 13 of the 19 clubs once this four game run over, there can’t be any excuses anymore about tough starts, or journalists saying look at how badly Rafa Benitez did last season early on. Indeed, with Man City at home the next game after this four match run, you would expect no points from that one, so whatever the points total after this four game run, likely to be the same after 14 games.

By the 13 game mark last season, Rafa had recovered to 12 points with Salomon Rondon at last fully fit, whilst the season before Newcastle had 14 points after 13 matches, just over a third of the season gone.

Steve Bruce after Newcastle’s defeat at Chelsea:

“We knew it was going to be a difficult start and Leicester’s always going to be rammed down our throats but we knew we had Arsenal, Man Utd, Tottenham, Liverpool and Leicester.

“We have had an unbelievably difficult start and no disrespect to the teams we play next but we have got teams who we think are going to be in and around us.”

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