Jamie Redknapp delivers verdict on Bruce start at Newcastle, remarks on ‘big test’

Jamie Redknapp has insisted that Steve Bruce has every reason to feel positive with his start to life as Newcastle United manager.

The Sky Sports pundit remarked on the fact that Bruce would know that he was in for criticism after taking over from Rafael Benitez at St James’ Park at the beginning of the season.

Redknapp believes that four points from the Magpies’ last two Premier League games will see Bruce enter the international break happy with their return from the first four games of the season.

A 1-1 draw against Watford on Saturday followed their impressive 1-0 win over Tottenham.

“Steve Bruce will feel positive heading into the international break with four points from his last two games,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.

“Bruce started this season as a manager under intense pressure. Newcastle was a big job to take. He was taking over from Rafa Benitez, who the fans understandably adored, and knew criticism would be coming his way.”

“Liverpool away in two weeks’ time will be a big test.”

OPINION

After losing their first two games, Newcastle delivered the perfect response by beating Tottenham. Bruce will have been hoping for all three points once again when Watford visited St James’ Park, and they were unlucky not to do so. At this stage of the season though, it is important for clubs to pick up points wherever possible, and Bruce will know that as long as he doesn’t lose games, people will be happy. Of course, Liverpool is a massive test, that game is a test for any side in the league, and if Bruce can get even just the one point there, he will be more than settled into life in the North East and the fans will be delighted. Newcastle had less possession against Watford, and also completed fewer tackles and won fewer aerial duels [WhoScored], and that must improve if they are to even keep the game close against Liverpool. Bruce will be happy, but he also knows that a small run of defeats and poor performances can quickly change the atmosphere in Newcastle – he must be careful not to get carried away.

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