Newcastle: Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce said it is not in his nature to walk away from a fight and that while he is frustrated by the team’s poor start to the season he is determined to right the ship and safeguard their place in the Premier League.
Newcastle are yet to win a game this season and sit second-bottom on one point after four matches, and the pressure is growing on the 60-year-old Bruce.
“My family think I’m a bit sick because I never really think about (walking away) when you’re up against it,” Bruce told reporters ahead of their league game tonight against Leeds United, who are also searching for their first win.
“I want Newcastle to be in the top of the league so that frustration is there but I don’t think about, ‘Oh the noise is too bad, walk away Steve.’ It’s not in my nature to walk away from something when we’re in a fight.”
Bruce said he was also frustrated with the club’s recruitment policy, with the permanent signing of Joe Willock - already on loan at St James’ Park - their only significant piece of business in the transfer window.
“Do you not think I want better players?” he asked. “Do you not think I want a better squad to choose from? Do you not think I want the ability to compete at the top end of the transfer market? “It’s not possible, so I have to accept it and get on with my job as best I can, at this moment. There’s the frustration for everybody concerned, and I’m the same.”
Newcastle have equalled their worst start to a Premier League campaign. This is the sixth time they have taken one point from their opening four matches.
It’s not great, I understand that, but that’s where we are. The challenge at the minute is just ticking along and make sure that the club stays where it is and we maintain our Premier League status,” added Bruce.
Darlow fit again
Leeds are vying to win three consecutive league games against Newcastle for the first time since 1967, while they last recorded back-to-back away league victories against the Magpies in 1958.
Fit-again goalkeeper Karl Darlow returned to Newcastle’s matchday squad last weekend and could replace Freddie Woodman in the starting line-up. Ryan Fraser is back in contention following an ankle injury but this game comes too soon for Callum Wilson, Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett.
Pascal Struijk begins a three-match ban after Leeds lost an appeal against his red card versus Liverpool while fellow centre-backs Diego Llorente and Robin Koch remain injured.Patrick Bamford is fit despite speculation he suffered a hamstring problem at the weekend.