Steve Bruce has his say on claims Newcastle United are in a relegation battle

Newcastle United are NOT in a relegation battle, according to Steve Bruce.

Bruce’s side take on Premier League basement club Sheffield United at Bramall Lane tonight.

Newcastle 15th in the Premier League – and eight points above the relegation zone – after taking two points from a five-game run which saw them take on three of the top five.

Bruce believes that’s a “healthy cushion” over the bottom three. Asked if the club was in a relegation scrap with 16 games played, United’s head coach said: “No. At the moment we have a nice healthy cushion to the bottom three.

"If we’d gone in the bottom three, then I’d say ‘maybe’. We knew this would be a tough run of fixtures. We’re in that run where we have to get out of it.”

Newcastle, knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal at the weekend, face Liverpool, Leicester City and Manchester City over the festive period.

“It doesn’t come any tougher than the run we’ve had,” said Bruce. “We’ve to score a goal and win a game. You’re judged by results, and, at the moment, we haven’t had enough good ones. The fixture schedule has been unkind, but that’s the Premier League.

"We have to go there with a mentality to win it.”

Steve Bruce.

On Chris Wider’s winless side, Bruce said: “It proves how difficult the Premier League is. They took it by storm last year, and were in the top six at Christmas. Sheffield United, although they prop up the table, are a very good side still. We’ll have to be at our best to beat them.”

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