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Steve Bruce declares this Newcastle United season ‘Can’t be a fluke’ under his management

4 days ago
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Steve Bruce has taken his pre-Arsenal press conference.

The NUFC Head Coach speaking ahead of Sunday’s game.

Steve Bruce talking to journalists on Friday morning as he prepares to face the Gunners.

Steve Bruce claiming the ‘negativity’ after the Norwich match was predictable because it will always happen, failing to address the fact that it was a really bad performance and his tactics were laughable. After that 0-0 draw, Steve Bruce had been happy to admit that his tactics had been to ‘make the team hard to beat’ rather than attacking a rock bottom team at home.

No positivity yet again on the contract situation despite the numerous times in the past he said new contracts with a host of key players were imminent. Mike Ashley unwilling to even offer acceptable contracts to the Longstaff brothers, Bruce once again indicating that it was down to the players to bend, rather than the club refusing to offer decent contracts. The result of which will see Matty Longstaff leave for just £400,000 development compensation in the summer if nothing is sorted.

As for Andy Carroll, yet again we are reminded what a daft signing he was, when Newcastle needed to replace their two goalscorers. Bruce admitting he has no idea when Carroll might return, having  started only four PL games so far.

Reacting to people repeatedly pointing out how lucky he has been this season, with every measurement showing  Newcastle fail to create chances and carry goal threat, whilst Martin Dubravka has faced more shots than any other keeper, Steve Bruce declares ‘It can’t be a fluke – not over 25 games anyway.’

As for Sunday’s opponents, Steve Bruce says he is amazed that Newcastle have won more games than Arsenal, though no surprise when only outside the relegation zone only Brighton have won the same (six) number of games as the Gunners and everybody else has won more matches than Arsenal.

Arsenal have only won five PL games since winning at St James Park in August and indeed have only won two of their last 17 PL matches. Newcastle should be gutted if they lose on Sunday.

Steve Bruce:

Any progress on new contracts for Sean and Matty Longstaff:

“It is ongoing.

“I hope that we can get them tied up (on new deals) but players these days have their own prerogative, so you have to respect that too.”

Reaction after last PL match against Norwich:

“Always just around the corner from a bit of negativity, that is never going to change.

“Let’s be positive.”

Remaining three months of the season:

“We have got 13 games to go and have got ourselves into a decent position.

“It gives us the platform to have a decent season.”

Injuries:

“It was a knock (Joelinton picked up at Oxford).

“There was no fracture, so he’s OK.

“Four, five or six days off for him and (Miguel) Almiron – the ones who have been at the pump constantly; they needed a break more than anybody. They’ve come back and they’ve been OK.

“We’re just going to assess whether it’s a little bit early for Muto and Dwight. They’re training, of course.

“The big problem we’ve got is that Andy (Carroll) is still not right, so that’s a concern for us going forward.

“We expected him to be OK but unfortunately he’s not.

“Thankfully it’s not his ankle, but with this hip, hip flexor or whatever it is, he gets to a certain level in his rehabilitation and he’s still not quite right. We just have to keep monitoring him and see how he is.

“It’s a big frustration. There was a time just before Christmas when we were looking and he’d made a few assists and started a few games, and that’s exactly why we brought him into the club.

“And unfortunately he’s picked up this injury, which has drifted into five or six weeks when we expected it to be ten days.

“I’m sure he’s as frustrated as we all are, but unfortunately he’s got to try and get fit and hopefully be ready in a couple of weeks or whenever it will be. We’re not putting a timescale on it; it’s just the way it is.”

Facing Arsenal:

“I didn’t think we’d be on level points, I’ll tell you that, and I didn’t think we’d win two more games than Arsenal.

“But it’s the Premier League, and it is what it is.

“Even at a mighty club like Arsenal… is ‘transition’ the right word?

“It’s a different style, different manager and it shows you how difficult it is – even at a big club like Arsenal – to have change and turnaround.”

Assessing Newcastle’s season:

“I think we have done OK.

“It can’t be a fluke – not over 25 games anyway.

“That they have a certain resilience about them and a certain pride about them, which is there every day they train and (every time they) play.

“They’re a good set who roll up their sleeves and make sure they have a go. When you’ve got a team like that, you’ve always got a chance.”

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