Steve Bruce signals 'new era' at Newcastle United as he ditches Rafa Benitez's tactics

Steve Bruce is ready to usher in a “new era” at Newcastle United.

Friday, 28th February 2020, 11:20 am

Bruce plans to change system for tomorrow’s home game against Burnley after back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Arsenal.

United’s head coach had, reluctantly, used the defensive, counter-attacking tactics of Rafa Benitez, his managerial predecessor at St James’s Park, after taking charge last summer.

Benitez switched to a back five in the Premier League, but Bruce has worked on a back four in training this week. He could also field two up front.

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Asked about playing a back four, Bruce said: “It’s something we’ve talked about and worked on.

“In the top teams, how often do you see a team go to a back three? The big teams sometimes change every other week. It’s something that’s normal. It gives us another string to the bow, and we’ll see.

“Very early on, it was evident they were quite comfortable in what they had done before (with Benitez).

“The glaring facts are we don’t score enough, so we have to be more of a threat in the opposing half. If that’s a new era, then we’ll try. That’s been our Achilles heel all season. In the past, we were OK, but I think has waned a bit. We have to cause problems for the opposition.”

Steve Bruce.

Newcastle, 14th in the division, have not scored a league goal since the transfer window closed at the end of last month without the club signing a striker.