Steve Bruce sets out his simple Premier League target for his Newcastle United side
Steve Bruce has a simple target for his Newcastle United side.
The club moved up to 11th place in the Premier League after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
Ciaran Clark and DeAndre Yedlin were on target for Steve Bruce’s side at St James’s Park ahead of the international break.
The target was seemingly top-flight survival in the early part of the season.
However, the team’s form since the 5-0 defeat to Leicester City in late September has raised expectations, and Newcastle are just two points off fifth-placed Sheffield United.
Bruce has one target for his team – finish as high as possible.
“I don’t think I have set any target," said United's head coach, who admitted after he took the job that he would have to win over many fans following a backlash on Tyneside to the appointment.
“I want to finish as high as we can. I want us to improve, get better, take the club forward. For me, it’s always been that. Let’s be fair, this club has been relegated twice in the last 10 years. It has only been two years since it was out of the Championship.
“Look at Bournemouth, how long have they been out (of the Championship) – five, six years? It’s an accumulation of years which gives you a better squad, better players.
“Can I take this club forward? That’s always been my aim. When I have witnessed the tough times that we have had over the last few weeks, it was all worthwhile (after the Bournemouth win), because the crowd were right behind us which was good to see.”
Meanwhile, Bruce has hailed summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin, who again caused problems with his pace.
“With Allan you can’t coach, he just has that natural talent,” said Bruce. “The thing is, what he has to work on is how to define a simple pass occasionally, that comes with experience.
“When you have what he’s got, you just want to be able to finish. That is what we have to work on, and what we will work on. Some of his play, his dribbling ability, I said when I first seen him that he’ll get people off their feet.”