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Will Newcastle United keep faith in Steve Bruce?
Newcastle United Football Ground
It’s fair to say that Newcastle United haven’t exactly been the most exciting team to watch this season. Steve Bruce’s men have failed to find the net on a consistent basis, and supporters have been left lamenting the team’s lack of adventure. Add to that an apparent falling-out between Bruce and the team’s most exciting player Allan Saint-Maximin, and you can understand the woes in the North East.

Bruce had looked to be heading towards the sack, but he saved his skin by masterminding an impressive 2-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park recently. However, the Magpies were brought swiftly back down to earth with a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at St James’ Park a few days later. Newcastle had taken an early lead through Jonjo Shelvey but by half-time they were behind and Roy Hodgson’s side held on for the three points.

Newcastle are lucky in that there is still a bit of a buffer between them and the relegation zone. The respective struggles of Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham have meant that the likes of Newcastle and Brighton are still relatively clear of the dreaded drop-zone. But complacency could be their worst enemy as the season progresses, and they’ll need to sharpen up fast if they want to ensure safety.

Bruce has been at the centre of Newcastle’s struggles. While he has done an admirable job since taking over from Rafael Benítez at the beginning of last season. Little was expected of him by those who bet on the Premier League, but he managed to lead the club to a respectable 13th-place finish last year, and the start of the current season saw promising signs, but those quickly evaporated.

While Bruce may well get results, and will no doubt do enough to keep Newcastle in the division, fans have grown tired of the turgid football his team plays. There is a lack of creativity in the team, and this is affecting their goal return, with Callum Wilson struggling to get the service he needs to be effective.

Indeed, Wilson has been one of Newcastle’s stars this season, and it was he who notched a brace to win against Everton. Despite their struggles to create chances, the former Bournemouth man has bagged 10 goals, proof of the quality he brings to the team. Wilson joined in the summer transfer window and has been a major success, but the same cannot be said of fellow arrivals Ryan Fraser and Jeff Hendrick, who have both failed to make a significant impact at St James’ Park.

The question is whether or not the Newcastle hierarchy will continue to have faith in Bruce or will they seek a change. The lack of a takeover deal being struck for the club has left owner Mike Ashley in a kind of limbo, and it’s doubtful that he would be desperate for more managerial upheaval. But unless Bruce can get the team firing on all cylinders again soon, Newcastle could find themselves dragged limply into the relegation quagmire.

It seems that, with each passing year, we are left lamenting Newcastle’s ill fortunes. Their fans have been starved of success in recent years – no discernible progress in the league, no European football and no meaningful cup runs. It’s doubtful that Bruce is the man who will bring those things back to St James Park, but for now Newcastle fans will have to persevere.

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