Steve Bruce insists Newcastle are making progress

Steve Bruce insists Newcastle are moving forward under him even if the progress is slow.

The Toon boss is once again under pressure after their dismal Carabao Cup exit at Brentford on Tuesday night.

Bruce now faces a potentially make-or-break festive period, with a Boxing Day trip to Manchester City followed by visits from Liverpool and Leicester.

The wrong results could drag Newcastle towards the relegation battle, but Bruce believes he can turn things around and maintains the club is in better shape than when he took over in July last year.

“Since I walked through the door the first thing I have tried to do is take the club forward,” he said. “That is my job. I am a Newcastle fan like everyone knows.

“It is slow. After losing to Brentford I have to accept there are people who will say there has been no progress. I would beg to differ, but I am never going to shy from people who have opinions.

“And now when you are up against it a bit you have to batten down the hatches and firmly believe in what you are doing, and go to work and get ready and get the squad and team as good as I can get them.

Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce

“There is no disputing we have had a poor week, especially dealing with the disappointment of the opportunity we had, which has been blown, which unfortunately has been Newcastle over the last 45 years since they last had a League Cup semi-final. So I am as disappointed as anyone else.

“I’ve been up against it before. It’s my turn, because we lost to Brentford. If you manage Newcastle you have to deal with the consequences.

“Thankfully, I’ve been around the block a bit and been in difficult situations before. The one thing I’d never do is shy away from it.”

Bruce hopes defender Federico Fernandez will be fit to face City, but captain Jamaal Lascelles and winger Allan Saint-Maximin are still missing as they continue to recover from Covid-19.