Steve Bruce has said “the gloves are off” with his Newcastle United players, who he said were “frigging hopeless the other night; we were absolutely s***e” in the loss to Sheffield United.
The Magpies made a decent start to the Premier League season to sit comfortably in mid table, but a dire run of eight games without a win in all competitions has dragged them towards the relegation places.
Newcastle hit what Bruce hopes was the season’s nadir with a 1-0 loss to Sheffield United on Tuesday - a result that was the Blades’ first win of the season.
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Bruce has said he got his team selection wrong against the Blades, but tore into his players for their performance.
"I pick the team, I got it wrong and I have to take responsibility,” Bruce said.
And in a remarkable broadside at his players, Bruce added: “The gloves are off now and we will do it my way.
We were absolutely frigging hopeless the other night; we were absolutely s***e. Unfortunately that’s happened a little too often in my 18 months here; it was nowhere near good enough for the challenge ahead.
“We’ve thrown that hand grenade in too often and that’s what we have to erase. It’s the disappointing thing I’m going to have to improve.”
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Bruce is reportedly keen to switch to a back four, while the players have a preference for a five-man defence which was the mainstay of Rafael Benitez’s spell on Tyneside.
It would appear Bruce is set to shift formations, and he will hope it pays off as they are now only seven points above the relegation spots ahead of a trip to Arsenal on Monday.
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