Bruce expects to miss January sales

Newcastle United
Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce does not expect to be doing much business in January despite his Newcastle squad being stretched by injuries.

Bruce was seemingly not a popular choice with the fans as Rafael Benitez’s successor over the summer, perhaps exacerbated by the fact he was given funds to spend, something that was not offered to the Spaniard.

Newcastle broke their transfer record to sign Joelinton from Hoffenheim and also splashed the cash to bring in Allan Saint-Maximin and Emil Krafth, with Jetro Willems a loan arrival, while Andy Carroll returned on a free.

Expectations were far from high for the Magpies but Bruce, so far at least, has defied the critics to lead his side to 11th place in the Premier League table, with a seven-point cushion to the relegation places.

Having beaten the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United during an otherwise slow start to the campaign, confidence appears to be growing, with the side enjoying something of a purple patch, having lost just once in the last seven games.

With a busy schedule fast approaching, Bruce’s plans have been hit by a number of key injuries and there has been speculation over whether he would dip into the transfer market in the upcoming window.

Saint-Maximin has been struck down by a thigh injury and is expected to be out for around a month, joining Matt Ritchie, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Ki Sung-Yeung on the sidelines.

Add to that the doubts surrounding Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron, and Bruce’s squad is being stretched pretty thin although the manager, perhaps having been told from above, does not foresee too much action next month.

“Our philosophy has been, since I walked through the door, that I want to work with what I’ve got,” said Bruce.

“I’ve said it from day one, since everybody keeps asking me about January up here – if there’s something there that can really improve us, we’ll act.

“But in my experience with January, it’s always difficult. Nobody wants to sell their best players.”

Newcastle will be hopeful of making it three wins on the bounce when they travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley, who have now suffered three consecutive defeats, conceding 11 goals and scoring just once in the process.