Steve Bruce challenges Newcastle United to 'do more' and bring back stay-away fans
Steve Bruce has called on Newcastle United to give their absent supporters an incentive to come back to St James’s Park in the coming weeks.
Just 42,303 were in attendance as Bruce’s side come from behind to beat Southampton and move up to 10th in the Premier League table.
Indeed, it appears to be a further sign that supporters are continuing to speak with their feet in the ongoing discontent towards owner Mike Ashley.
However, the United head coach believes the low crowd against the Saints was affected by the Christmas period, claiming it is a hard time for fans to attend football matches.
And Bruce has called on the club to help out-of-pocket fans and get United’s home packed to the rafters in upcoming weeks.
“The crowd were terrific. They stayed with the team,” said Bruce.
“I know there were a few numbers that were down. Maybe the club has to help at this particular time.
“Can they help supporters at this particular time? Christmas is coming and it’s difficult for people to afford to come to matches.
“Maybe there is something we can do as a club to try and get the numbers up because we need St James’s Park full again.”
Goals from Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey recorded United’s sixth win of the season and in the process opened up a seven-point gap over the bottom three.
But despite their recent good form, the Magpies were unable to attract a crowd to the numbers they were last campaign under Rafa Benitez.
“I’ve been in the North East long enough now because I’m from up here. It’s tough for people at Christmas, so maybe the club can help too.
“What can we do to try and bring the supporters back? Can we give them an incentive to bring some people back?
“I do believe people want to come and watch their team, just simply at this time they can’t afford it. It’s difficult for people.
“Football is a pricey industry so maybe there is something we can do.”