Steve Bruce names Newcastle United's biggest relegation rivals
Steve Bruce has named the teams he believes are in a relegation battle with Newcastle United.
Bruce’s 17th-placed side, beaten 3-1 by Manchester United last weekend, are just above the relegation zone ahead of tonight’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Third-bottom Fulham have narrowed the gap between themselves and Newcastle to three points after winning two of their last four Premier League games.
Bruce, however, feels that the three teams above United – Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley and Southampton – are also involved.
“As far as I'm concerned, there are six or seven teams – it's not just us in it with Fulham,” said Newcastle's head coach.
"Burnley and Brighton are just above us and Southampton are having a tough run as well, so, for me, there are six or seven teams in and around it, which is probably normal.
“Look, they (Fulham), have won back-to-back games for the first time – they've won more in a week than they had done in the last six months, so that's what you need when you're down at the bottom.
“It's so difficult. We did it a couple of weeks ago, and then we've got to go to Chelsea and Manchester United.
“As I keep saying, it's the accumulation of points. We have to try to get over the line and accumulate as many as we can."
Asked if it was a “must-win” game, Bruce said: “It would be nice to win, but with 13 games to go, there's a lot. The tickly bit is upon us, the daffodils are coming up, so that usually is the first sign.
“We've got some big games coming up and as I keep saying to you, accumulation of points, but it would be great on Saturday night to come away sitting on 28 points rather than 25, and that's got to be the aim.”
Newcastle’s final game of the season is against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Asked if would be fair to have some home fans at the game if coronavirus restrictions are eased by the Government, Bruce said: “You’re asking me something which is two or three months down the line. Lets address that then.”