Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has hailed the work that Steve Bruce has carried out at Newcastle United, but has doubt over the club’s potential.
We went into the weekend having recorded our second set of back-to-back victories in the Premier League under Bruce after beating Sheffield United and Southampton, with the Toon seemingly starting to click under the former Aston Villa and Hull City boss.
Bruce’s tenure at St. James’ Park had begun on shaky foundations, as the club were only able to take one win in our first seven league games under the 58-year-old, succumbing to four defeats and taking two draws.
The Premier League form table between November 1 and December 13 placed us third overall, though, only behind league-leaders Liverpool and the chasing Leicester City, having taken 13 of a possible 18 points as we moved clear of the relegation places and into the middle of the pack.
But come the end of the season, Nicholas does not expect we will be anywhere near the middle of the table, and instead, the former Arsenal and Celtic striker has tipped us to be in a relegation scrap.
Where will we finish the season?
“I suggested that Steve Bruce was ahead of Rafael Benitez with the job he has been doing, which people argued by saying Rafa did a great job – I never said he didn’t,” Nicholas noted in his column for Sky Sports. “But Bruce has been getting these guys going.
“Allan Saint-Maximin’s injury will be a big blow and they are still going to be in a relegation scrap in my opinion.
“Bruce knows how to set these teams up, he knows how to tighten defensively, but he had to keep Miguel Almiron in the team – he gives something to the team.”
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