It has been revealed by the Chronicle that Bruce’s assistants, Stephen Clemence and Steve Agnew have worked on numerous set-piece routines, and have drilled them into the squad in recent weeks.
“We’ve got three centre-backs and all of them have contributed, which is important,” he told NUFCTV, as quoted by the Chronicle.
“At set-pieces, we have big players – big 6ft 3in, 6ft 4in centre-backs – and we can cause a problem for any team.”
Newcastle have scored a goal from dead-ball situations in their latest two victories in the Premier League against both West Ham United and Bournemouth.
Given how Newcastle’s front-three have only scored the one goal between them this season, it has been vital that they find the back of the net somehow. Newcastle’s defenders have scored 64% of their goals in the Premier League this campaign [Chronicle], and although Bruce will be somewhat disappointed that it has come to that, he won’t care how his side are winning at this stage of the season. Ciaran Clark has socred twice compared to record-signing Joelinton, and it is vital that the Brazilian’s form starts to pick up. Having said that, his physicality will only benefit Newcastle from corners and free-kicks and if the delivery continues to be right, it will be Joelinton who is finishing off the chances and not the defender that Bruce has available. Agnew and Clemence have clearly found the right formula at St James’ Park, and the more players that are scoring means that the opposition side have more problems to deal with in those situations.