Steve Bruce reveals one thing he's addressed at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce has challenged his Newcastle United players to live up to the benchmark they set themselves against Premier League champions Liverpool as they prepare to face Leicester City.
Steve Bruce.Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.

The Magpies scrapped their way to a creditable 0-0 draw with Jurgen Klopp’s men at St James’s Park on Wednesday night – four days after turning in an improved display in a 2-0 defeat at Manchester City.

A showdown with the third-placed Foxes completes an intensely difficult holiday trilogy.

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While Bruce insists what happened in midweek will not change his plans, he is happy his players will head into the game with their confidence levels boosted.

Bruce said: “My job is to prepare and plan.

"It didn’t matter what the result was, I’ve still got to prepare a plan for what we’re going to do against Leicester, so the whole thing goes around again.

“Yes, we’ve had a really good result which gives a bit of confidence to everybody.

"But, I think, it was the manner – which we needed to do after disappointing so many a couple of weeks ago – so more of the same and improve and see what we can do.”

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In recent seasons under both Bruce and predecessor Rafa Benitez, the Magpies have tended to take a prosaic approach against the big guns, sitting deep in numbers and attempting, not always successfully, to hit them on the break with what little share of the ball they have had.

Against Liverpool, they started on the front foot from a significantly advanced base and created chances throughout despite having to weather sustained pressure, and they might even have won the game had goalkeeper Alisson not clawed away Ciaran Clark’s late header.

Bruce said: “We’ve set a certain standard, and the thing that pleased me was we were higher up the pitch. In the past, we’ve sat too deep.

“It’s something we’ve tried to address.

"It’s not been easy to address because we’ve played a certain way for a long time, so slowly but surely, we’re getting the ideas and what we’re looking for. It’s another tough game, though.”