Steve Bruce drops tactical hint at Newcastle United after losing Callum Wilson to injury

Steve Bruce has dropped a tactical hint ahead of Newcastle United's visit to Stamford Bridge.

Bruce has often changed formation – and fielded a back five – for games against the Premier League’s top-six teams.

However, United’s head coach – who has lost striker Callum Wilson for up to eight weeks – has hinted that he will stick with the system he has used since Graeme Jones was appointed as his assistant late last month.

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Asked if he would change approach following the loss of Wilson, Bruce said: “I feel a bit like that for months, to be brutally honest. We’ve been without our better players.

"Look, it’s always somebody’s opportunity. Can they come and grasp it? I don’t think the approach is going to be any different. We’ve certainly decided that this is going to be the way forward for us.”

Bruce also lost defenders Fabian Schar and Javier Manquillo in last weekend’s 3-2 win over Southampton at St James’s Park.

Asked about the club’s luck with injuries, Bruce said: “It hasn’t been great, I have to tell you. We’ve been blighted by injury and illness.

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"When I see a big team like Tottenham, and how reliant they are on somebody like (Harry) Kane, them, of course, you do need your big players, especially at the top end of the pitch.

Steve Agnew, Graeme Jones and Steve Bruce.Steve Agnew, Graeme Jones and Steve Bruce.
Steve Agnew, Graeme Jones and Steve Bruce.

"Let’s hope we can cope with it. Let’s hope somebody can step up to the mark. We’ve got players who are capable. Let’s hope they can grasp it.”

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