Steve Bruce makes Newcastle United Carabao Cup selection call as he holds hands up for Brighton shocker

Steve Bruce has held his hands up and admitted he got his selection and tactics WRONG against Brighton.

Newcastle United's English head coach Steve Bruce (R) speaks with his players during a drinks break in the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north-east England on July 15, 2020.
Newcastle United's English head coach Steve Bruce (R) speaks with his players during a drinks break in the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north-east England on July 15, 2020.

But the Newcastle United boss has committed to making wholesale changes again for tomorrow night’s Carabao Cup third round visit to Morecambe.

"I got the decision wrong at the weekend. Pick a team that gets beat, it's the manager's fault,” said Bruce of the 3-0 home loss to Graham Potter’s Seagulls.

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"I need to pick a team that is fresh enough and fit enough to beat Morecambe.

“Today’s another day. We have to start getting prepared for the cup tie. There’s no fluffing over, we were totally disappointed with what happened. We got off to an awful start and it became one of those difficult afternoons. Another game is on the horizon and we then go to Spurs, we have to try to get on with the job in hand and make sure we improve, which won’t be difficult.

“We got off to a dreadful start and when you analyse the whole situation, we’re totally disappointed in the individual performances and the team performance too. In the past, we’ve responded and I’m sure we will again.”

Bruce does, however, feel the spotlight shone on a poor performance by his Newcastle side is sometimes unfair.

“The way the Premier League is now, everything is broadcast and everything is laid bare for everybody to see,” he said.

"You have to admit when you don’t play well enough and we were nowhere near. The inconsistency is something we have to eradicate.”

Bruce made TEN changes for the second round win over Blackburn Rovers and despite the disappointment at the weekend, he admits he is again committed to switching things up at the Mazuma Stadium.

The likes of Mark Gillespie, DeAndre Yedlin, Emil Krafth, Ciaran Clark, Sean Longstaff, Matt Ritchie, Dan Barlaser and Miguel Almiron all expected to start.

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“We will put a strong team out,” said Bruce.

“We all have to look at the situation and have a bit of rotation. Now, we’ve got a squad of players where we’re able to pick a different XI. We’ll pick a team I hope is going to be good enough and strong enough to get us into the next round.

"There’s people who desperately need to play.

“There’s an opportunity there. At this particular moment we’ve go two or three who are injured and coming back, so I’ve got a big enough and good enough squad to be able to rotate. A cup final wouldn’t be the same without the supporters, but we’ll try our best.

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“The good thing about any squad of players is that I’ve got a decision to make. Let’s be honest, I got the decision wrong at the weekend because we got beat. I’ve got competition everywhere across the pitch, and that can only be a good thing.

“Can I pick a team that’s going to fresh enough and fit enough to go and beat Morecambe? It’s never going to be easy in the cup competitions."

Due to the truncated nature of the English footballing calendar this season the games are coming thick and fast for Bruce & Co.

The League Cup is one competition that has been severely altered, with the early rounds of the competition compacted into the first weeks of the league campaign.

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And if United progress, they will face Newport County or Watford in round four, just six or seven days after seeing off their League Two opponents, with ties set to take place week commencing September 28.

“We could have seven games in the first three weeks of the season,” said Bruce.

"We’re asking the players to do a hell of a lot in a short period of time after a lockdown and the lack of a pre-season. The game management of a few is going to be critical. We will certainly make changes.

“We are asking far too much. Where we’re going to be at Christmas, I think that’s the big concern for all of us. We’re all in unprecedented times because of the compression of the season.

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"I saw the player limp off for Wolves after a minute, and that is probably going to happen more often than not.

"I saw Spurs’ schedule, and let’s be honest it’s totally ridiculous. It’s what we have to do, but it’s going to be very difficult to manage it.”

Bruce is not expecting a walk in the park over in the North West, despite Morecambe being in the bottom tier – and having suffered a 5-0 home defeat to Cambridge United on Saturday afternoon.

“We know how they play and what they do,” said Bruce.

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"They’ve had a disappointing weekend, but it’s their cup final.

"Their lads will be champing at the bit to play against a big Premier League team, and we know in this country how difficult it is.”

Morecambe v Newcastle United has not been selected for LIVE TV coverage and will only be available to view through the EFL’s iFollow platform, which can be accessed via the competition website.

Possible NUFC XI

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Mark Gillespie; DeAndre Yedlin, Emil Krafth, Ciaran Clark, Javier Manquillo; Matt Ritchie, Dan Barlaser, Sean Longstaff, Jacob Murphy; Miguel Almiron, Andy Carroll.

Carabao Cup draw, in full

Lincoln or Liverpool v Leicester or Arsenal

Millwall or Burnley v Manchester City or Bournemouth

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West Brom or Brentford v Fulham or Sheffield Wednesday

Fleetwood or Everton v West Ham or Hull

Bristol City or Aston Villa v Stoke or Gillingham

Leyton Orient or Tottenham v Chelsea or Barnsley

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Newport or Watford v Morecambe or Newcastle

Preston or Brighton v Luton or Manchester United

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