Steve Bruce explains tactical change at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce has revealed why he switched to a back four at the Emirates Stadium.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 8:11 am

Newcastle United were convincingly beaten 3-0 by Arsenal on Monday night, and the defeat led to more calls from fans for Bruce to go, with his team having won once in 10 games.

Bruce had pledged to do it “his way” after last week’s loss to previously-winless Sheffield United, and he switched to a back four and fielded Andy Carroll up front with Callum Wilson at the Emirates Stadium in an attempt to get more on the attack.

United’s head coach, without Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar was asked about the changes after the game.

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“We’ve done it (before) – it’s not new to us,” said Bruce. “With the problems we’ve got at centre-back, I thought it was the best way to go. We’ve done it before with a back four, and, certainly, we’ve played two up top many times and won a game.

"It’s something I’ve always said we’ve got the ability to switch to.”

Bruce left midfielder Isaac Hayden – who has been used in defence this season – on the bench, and he fielded fielded Emil Krafth – who can play at centre-half – at right-back ahead of DeAndre Yedlin.

Newcastle were caught high up the pitch for Arsenal’s first two goals.

Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring his team's third goal.

“We are disappointed, because we have been caught trying to get forward,” said Bruce. “Two passes, and they’re in on our goal.

"That’s something we have to learn from and understand. The reason we have been defending deep was to avoid situations like that. We have to get the balance right."

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