Steve Bruce reacts to 'biggest insult' at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce says he’s “insulted” by claims his players didn’t know their roles against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 28th September 2019, 7:00 am
Steve Bruce.

Bruce made two tactical changes to his Newcastle United side in last weekend’s goalless draw at St James’s Park after conversations with his players during the first half and at the break.

Brighton were on top for much of the game, though Bruce’s team pushed hard for an equaliser in the last 10 minutes after the introductions of Ki Sung-yueng, Allan Saint-Maximin and Andy Carroll.

Asked about claims his players were confused about their jobs, head coach Bruce said: “I think that is the biggest insult I can have.

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“Look, (Brighton manager) Graham Potter changed the week before – and played four different formations. He changed during the game four times, Dan Burn being a left wing back at one stage.

“We changed before half time, basically we tried to put the two No10s higher against them. We tried to take it off them a bit higher up the pitch, and left ourselves a bit open and struggled with it.

“However, the biggest disappointment for me was when we did turn it over. We gave the ball away too cheaply. Last year, we were second-bottom in that respect.

“So it’s something that I cannot change overnight, but we have to improve with the ball and keep it better. That was my biggest disappointment last week. The turnover of possession, something like 67% pass completion.”

Newcastle, 17th in the Premier League, take on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.