Steve Bruce senses a 'different vibe' inside St James's Park

The FA Cup still has some magic left – on Tyneside.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 7:00 am

That’s the view of head coach Steve Bruce ahead of Newcastle United’s sold-out tie against Oxford United at St James’s Park.

Under-12 tickets for the fourth-round tie were reduced to £1 this week by the club, which has never reached the fifth-round under Mike Ashley’s ownership – and the gate at St James’s Park will be the biggest of the round.

Asked if there was still some magic left in the competition, Bruce said: “You’re not going to get 52,000 if there wasn’t. Absolutely.

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“The minimum we could have charged was a tenner. People have brought into it, and the last little push was letting kids in for a quid, and if you’ve already bought a ticket for your kid they’ve got a fiver to spend in the shop.”

Newcastle’s third-round replay against Rochdale earlier this month pulled in a crowd of 29,786 – and Bruce’s name was chanted y fans for the first time his appointment last summer.

“There was a different vibe in the stadium, absolutely,” said Bruce. “People maybe who hadn’t been there coming in and enjoying the game. The younger element, certainly.”

The fourth-round draw was kind to United, though Bruce is wary of Oxford, who beat West Ham United 4-0 in the Carabao Cup earlier this season.

St James's Park.

“They’re a very decent side, and turned West Ham over four by the way,” said Bruce. “We’ll have to be decent to beat them.”