Steve Bruce senses a 'different vibe' inside St James's Park
The FA Cup still has some magic left – on Tyneside.
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.
“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.
“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.”