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Pundit View: Bruce proves doubters wrong and casts one eye to the future

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At the beginning of the Premier League season, Newcastle were heavily tipped to go down, and some even went as far as to predict that the Magpies would finish bottom of the division. That has not been the case. Instead, Steve Bruce has navigated his boyhood club to a mid-table finish, and there have been some signs since lockdown, where Newcastle have scored 12 goals in nine games, that he may be developing his squad.

Ahead of the final match of the season, where Newcastle will welcome champions Liverpool to St James’ Park, the Magpies boss has been speaking to the media about how he has completed the task at hand this term and is keeping one eye on improving his squad over the summer.

What did he say?

Speaking to the Chronicle about the pre-season prediction, Bruce said: “I let other people judge. We were everyone’s favourites to be relegated, and that can’t be good for a club of our size and stature.”

“My job was to come in and make sure that Newcastle are a Premier League team for next year and let’s move forward. Let’s see what we can do in the summer. We’ve got the nucleus of a decent team, so we’ve got to keep trying to move forward and see where it takes us,” added the Magpies manager.

Work to be done

With Rafael Benítez’s departure last summer, Bruce’s arrival was described as “unambitious” when he arrived with less than a month to go before the Premier League season started. Despite not having much time to work with his players in the summer, the Newcastle manager has navigated his way through a top-flight season and emerged with the Magpies’ Premier League status intact.

This summer, as Bruce eluded too, he will have time on the training ground to work with his squad and continue its development. The Magpies manager has also suggested that he would like to bring in “four or five” players when the transfer window opens to add to his options and free up room for rotation.

Standing still in the Premier League is a dangerous game, and Bruce has suggested Newcastle’s foundations are strong, and with some improvement during the offseason, it will be exciting to see where he can take the Toon.

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