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Mark Lawrenson admits his concerns for Steve Bruce and what could happen to him this week

3 years ago

Mark Lawrenson has expressed his worries for close friend Steve Bruce.

The BBC Sport pundit fears that the Newcastle United Head Coach could bring problems down upon himself.

Mark Lawrenson is concerned that even though Newcastle face the worst team in the Premier League who were relegated some time ago, Steve Bruce will still go with his trademark negative football.

Mark Lawrenson advises Bruce that he has to at least ‘go for it a bit’ in what is in reality a meaningless game with nothing resting on it, with nothing to lose.

The BBC Sport pundit is worried that if Steve Bruce plays with his usual tactics it will be the worst possible time to do so, as this in the first game in over 14 months where Newcastle fans will be inside St James Park, Mark Lawrenson declaring: ‘The last thing Steve Bruce needs is an off-day from his team and a load of supporters chanting ‘Bruce out’ at him as soon as they are allowed back in the stadium.’

In a season of many lows under this NUFC Head Coach, probably the most embarrassing approach to a game was when facing a Sheffield United team who had drawn two and lost eighteen of their last twenty Premier League matches, Steve Bruce played a back five and three defensive midfielders, with only Ryan Fraser supposedly to give Callum Wilson any help. This was one of eight of the opening seventeen PL games where Bruce named Miguel Almiron on the bench and the Paraguayan didn’t even come on as a sub. A completely embarrassing night for Steve Bruce as his tactics and team selection led directly to a deserved 1-0 defeat.

Much talk of a big recent improvement under Steve Bruce with three wins in Newcastle’s last thirteen Premier League matches.

So it is interesting to note that Sheffield United have actually won two of their last four PL matches, keeping a couple of clean sheets in the process. An impressive 1-0 win at Everton on Sunday will see Sheffield United approaching this one with a lot of confidence, up against a Steve Bruce side who have won just two of their last twelve Premier League matches at St James Park.

Steve Bruce predicts a narrow 2-1 win for Newcastle and we await with interest to see just how Steve Bruce approaches this match and how the Newcastle fans react to it.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“The positive thing for Sheffield United is that they are not going down being beaten heavily every week.

“There is nothing riding on this game now Newcastle are safe but it’s important they put on a good show in front of their fans.

“By that I mean they should go for it a bit.

“The last thing Steve Bruce needs is an off-day from his team and a load of supporters chanting ‘Bruce out’ at him as soon as they are allowed back in the stadium.

“Prediction is Newcastle United 2 Sheffield United 1.”

Challenging Mark Lawrenson with his predictions for this round of Premier League matches is Matthew Lewis, who starred in the Harry Potter films.

He is also a Leeds fan and says he was ‘livid’ when Steve Bruce got April 2021 Manager of the Month ahead of Bielsa.

Solskjaer accumulated ten points in his four Premier League matches, two more than Bruce, yet the NUFC Head Coach won the award. Bielsa got the same number (eight) of points as Bruce and Lewis thinks the Leeds boss was more deserving, his stand out result being to beat Man City at the Etihad despite Leeds playing for over half the match with ten men.

Matthew Lewis – Actor and Leeds fan:

“I was livid when Magpies boss Steve Bruce got the manager of the month award for April.

“I’m not saying he had a bad month, but Bielsa was undefeated against Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool and won a Yorkshire derby too.

“Newcastle are going to win this one. 2-0.”


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