Bruce confident Newcastle can juggle Premier League safety with FA Cup run
Steve Bruce is adamant Newcastle can handle the exerts of both an FA Cup and attempting to avoid Premier League relegation.
Newcastle have won just one of their last 10 matches in the Premier League, a run of form that has seen the club drop to 14th in the table and just five points clear of the bottom three.
Saturday’s dismal 0-0 draw at home to Burnley means the Magpies have failed to score in their last four league games, making the north-east outfit the lowest scorers in the division with just 24.
The Tynesiders have a break from league action when they travel to the Hawthorns on Tuesday night for an FA Cup quarter-final tie against West Bromwich Albion.
Newcastle are attempting to reach the last-eight stage for the first time since 2006, while they haven’t reached the final since losing to Manchester United back in 1999.
It has been suggested Bruce should concentrate on survival rather than an FA Cup run, but the manager is convinced his side can progress in the competition and secure their top-flight status as they continue to fight on two fronts.
He said at his press conference: “We’ve had a difficult run and there’s no denying that, but we’ve still given ourselves a wonderful opportunity.
“Yes, everybody is looking over their shoulder a little bit, of course, but that’s the nature of the Premier League and that’s how difficult it is.”
Steve Bruce speaks to the press ahead of tomorrow’s cup tie.
“We’ve got to the fifth round for the first time in years. I always believe a cup run can give everyone a lift. We’ve got a good opponent, a really good team, so it’s all to play for.” pic.twitter.com/vAprbELzok
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 2, 2020
Newcastle are six-time FA Cup winners but have not lifted the famous trophy since 1955, and the competition has become something of a secondary consideration during the Mike Ashley era.
However, Bruce – then a schoolboy – remembers only too well their surge to the final in 1974 when they beat the Baggies 3-0 at the Hawthorns at the same stage of the competition, and is determined to take the club as far as he can this time around.
He added: “We played West Brom in 1974 and went there and won two or three-nil, so who knows? I always believe a cup run can give everybody a lift.”