Steve Bruce had this message for worried Newcastle United fans after Manchester United defeat
Steve Bruce has reiterated his view on Newcastle United’s survival hopes after the club’s latest defeat.
The 17th-placed club was beaten 3-1 by Manchester United at Old Trafford last night – and Bruce's side remain just three points above the drop zone.
Third-bottom Fulham have narrowed the gap over the past fortnight, and Scott Parker and his players are increasingly confident that they can catch Newcastle.
Asked for his view on the club’s position, Bruce said: “There are six or seven teams in and around it with 13 games to go.
"I’m sure there’s a few looking over their shoulder, and, of course, we’re one (of them). I’m still quietly confident we’ll be fine if we keep performing like we did for the first hour. It was always going to be difficult going to Chelsea away and then Man United away. I’ve been pleased with certain aspects of us.
Bruce felt that the loss of Joelinton, recalled to the starting XI in place of Dwight Gayle, to injury in the 55th minute, when the score was level at 1-1, changed the course of the game.
"The big turning point for me was the loss of big Joe,” said Newcastle’s head coach, who is already without striker Callum Wilson. “We were already without our main centre-forward, so we hope he's not too serious.
"It’s a groin problem, so we’re not quite sure yet, and he’s not quite sure. It’s difficult.”
Bruce, second-favourite to become the next Premier League manager to leave his post, was asked about fan sentiment on Tyneside.
“Of course, they don’t want to see their team at the wrong end of the table,” said Bruce, who has come in for heavy criticism in recent months.
“I understand that totally. The one thing we’ve got is a unique fanbase which makes us the club we’ve got. Of course, they’re anxious. As I’ve said I’m quietly confident, if we keep performing like that for the first hour in particular, I’m still confident that we’ll be fine.”
Newcastle’s next game is against 11th-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’s Park on Saturday.