Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce questioned the mentality of his players and said a tactical rethink may be needed to arrest their slump in the Premier League. Photo: AFP
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce questioned the mentality of his players and said a tactical rethink may be needed to arrest their slump in the Premier League. Photo: AFP

Newcastle's Steve Bruce ready to get tough with tactics

By Reuters Time of article published Jan 16, 2021

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Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce questioned the mentality of his players and said a tactical rethink may be needed to arrest their slump in the Premier League.

Newcastle are 15th in the table and winless in six matches following a defeat by basement side Sheffield United earlier in the week, with the pressure mounting on Bruce ahead of Monday's trip to 11th-placed Arsenal.

"We were absolutely frigging hopeless the other night," Bruce told reporters.

"Unfortunately that's happened a little too often in my 18 months here. It was nowhere near good enough for the challenge ahead. Maybe it's a mentality thing," he said.

"The gloves are off now and we will do it my way."

Bruce said that Newcastle could deploy a back-four from the current system of five in defence and that his players had to adapt.

"It's something I've toyed with since I've been at the club. We've played a certain way in the past to try to make sure we get the results we need," Bruce added.

"I've let them be comfortable. But... I'm going to do things the way I see fit."

"If you're a Premier League manager you can't accept what happened at Sheffield United... I have to accept what's coming my way. If I was a supporter I'd be concerned." (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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