It sounds like the Magpies boss is considering changes this week ahead of the visit of last season’s Premier League champions Manchester City. But what changes could he make?
Here our NUFC writer Liam Kennedy picks his Newcastle starting XI for the weekend – and it’s fair to say there’s a few surprises in his selections.
1. Martin Dubravka - Goalkeeper
One of the best Newcastle United signings of the last decade. Kept the score down at Villa Park. Unless injured a 'shoe-in'.
Photo: Stu Forster
2. Fabian Schar - Centre-back
Was not the best day for United at Villa Park but Schar was far from the worst offender. Has the ability to make things tick from the back when he says plenty of the ball.
Photo: Ian MacNicol
3. Ciaran Clark - Centre-half
A very tight call between the Republic of Ireland international and Federico Fernandez, but the all round ability of Clark gets the nod from me. Aggressive and good on the ball. If it's bodies on the line stuff v City, he's the man.
Photo: Catherine Ivill
4. Florian Lejeune - Centre-half
If he is fit enough, he's in. No doubt about this. The issues is whether he is up to speed yet. A big call for Steve Bruce to make, especially as Paul Dummett did little wrong against Villa.
Photo: Mark Runnacles