Steve Bruce gives his verdict on Newcastle under Rafa Benitez

Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce is relishing Aston Villa's visit to St James's Park – despite his team's dismal form.

Bruce's struggling side are 16th in the Championship after losing four of their last five games.

Newcastle United lead the division ahead of Monday night's televised fixture.

“I’m not bothered about performances – we need a result," said Bruce, who will be without injured pair James Bree and Gabby Agbonlahor.

“It will be a great occasion. It’s live on TV, and there’ll be 50-odd thousand there.

“Some would say this fixture should be in the Premier League, but there you go.”

Bruce is full of admiration for the job Rafa Benitez has done at Newcastle this season in the wake of last season's relegation.

"They have done very well under Rafa Benitez," said Corbridge-born Bruce. "They have a settled team and a settled position. They will be difficult to beat."