Will Steve Bruce regret this pledge at Newcastle United?

Steve Bruce has a problem at Newcastle United.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 4:45 pm

Bruce pledged to have a go in the FA Cup after taking charge last summer – but he has an injury list which runs into double figures.

United’s head coach took Hull City to the 2014 FA Cup final – can he do the same with Newcastle?

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“Surely, as a club, we can win five games,” said Bruce at the time. “Can we win a cup tie? Can we do well in the League Cup or the FA Cup? That’s got to be an aim. It’s not just about staying in the division and being happy with that – that would be wrong.”

The draw was relatively kind to United, who were drawn away to League One club Rochdale on Saturday. However, everything will depend on what kind of team he can put out at Spotland.

Four players were forced off against Leicester City yesterday, while DeAndre Yedlin also played on with a broken hand.

The cups were sacrificed by his predecessors, who were forced to prioritise Premier League survival. Newcastle had been well-placed in the division before Christmas, but the club, which hasn’t got beyond the fourth round of the FA Cup since Mike Ashley bought it 13 years ago, has since since lost three games. Is Bruce now conflicted?

Steve Bruce and coach Steve Agnew.
Steve Bruce and coach Steve Agnew.

With 11 players in the club’s treatment room, Bruce could yet regret his pledge to target cup success.