'It can't be a fluke': Steve Bruce responds to his critics

Steve Bruce says it’s not a “fluke” that Newcastle United are mid-table in the Premier League.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 1:16 pm

The club is 12th – and seven points above the relegation zone – ahead of Sunday’s game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

However, Bruce’s tactics again came under scrutiny after goalless draws against Norwich City and Oxford United at St James’s Park.

United’s injury-hit head coach praised the resilience of a team which has struggled to score goals in the league this season.

“I think we've done OK,” said Bruce. “We've had huge problems over the last six weeks, and fair play to the squad for showing that resilience that they've shown in many, many games.

“It can't be a fluke, not over 25 games, anyway. They have a certain resilience about them, and a certain pride about them, which is pretty evident every day they train and play.

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

Bruce says he’ll “have a look” at the system later in the season when his team gets closer to the 40-point mark in the Premier League.

Steve Bruce.

“The closer we get towards the magical points tally, then we can have a look,” said Bruce. “But there are still 10 or so clubs looking over their shoulder, and we’re one of them. We can’t be blase and say we’ve done enough.”