Steve Bruce addresses 'difficult' tactical change at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce says it’ll take time to change the way Newcastle United play.

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 12:30 pm

Bruce’s side were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last night – and the club remains seven points above the relegation zone.

United’s head coach changed to a more attacking system following the arrival of assistant Graeme Jones late last month – and the club has won two of its last four Premier League games.

However, the team was outplayed by Chelsea before the break, when Olivier Giroud and Timo Werner were on target for Thomas Tuchel’s team. The visitors improved in the second half, but the game had been lost in the first 45 minutes.

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Newcastle’s next game is against second-placed Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

“We’ve made no excuse,” said United's head coach. “We’re doing something different, which is always difficult to implement.

“There are times when we’re going to come unstuck with it. I’m pleased, it’s the way I want to go about it. The players, I think, are enjoying it.

“Of course, we need a few results along the way. That belief comes. Next game, nice easy one away at Old Trafford.”

Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal.

Bruce – who had fielded Dwight Gayle up front in the absence through injury of Callum Wilson – was heartened by his team’s second-half performance against Chelsea after a difficult first 45 minutes at Stamford Bridge.

“They were very fluid in their movement at the top end of the pitch with Werner and (Mason) Mount in particular,” said Bruce. “They caused us a few problems, which we managed to make better in the second half.

"That gives us a little bit of confidence. It’s still a work in progress. I keep using that (phrase). I was pleased second half, the way we stuck at it.

“We were manful in the way we went about it second-half, and more lke it. Bit of freshness, that helps in the last 10-15 minutes. All credit to them in the secod half.

“They’ve rolled their sleeves up and had a right good go. We weren’t quite good enough, but a lot of teams will have a problem coming here.”

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