You know what's coming, says Bruce ahead of Burnley clash
Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce says he knows what to expect when Burnley arrive at St. James’ Park on Saturday night – and hopes his side can go into the international break on a high with a victory over the Clarets.
The Magpies play their second home Premier League game of the season (8pm kick-off) against Sean Dyche’s men, knowing a win for tenth-placed United could lift them into the top six at this early stage of the campaign.
And head coach Bruce is anticipating a typically combative encounter against Burnley, who are yet to win in the league this term.
“You know what’s coming,” he said. “Dychey has got his identity, and I’m a big admirer of his – what he's done, what’s he's achieved. There’s different ways to play football.
“He plays two up top, two big physical centre forwards. They’re a bit direct, play off the front and ask you the question constantly – and have been very successful at it, so we know what to expect.
“Let’s hope we can overcome it and get a good result. If we can get a result and win, it would probably take us into the top six and a quarter-final of a cup competition. We can go into the (international) break then thinking we’ve done OK. We haven’t played well enough at times, but we’ve stuck at it and got a few results.”
Bruce is hoping to be able to welcome winger Allan Saint-Maximin, who missed the midweek Carabao Cup last 16 penalty shoot-out win at Newport County through injury, back into his squad for the weekend clash.
“Jamaal and Emil Krafth are a bit of a problem – we’ll see how they are today,” said Bruce. “They are my concerns because, defensively, Fab Schär is OK – he played for half an hour the other night which is good news. He’s really ahead of schedule, so we’re delighted we’ve got him back.
Saturday’s game will be the first time former Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick will come up against his old club after departing for Tyneside a month ago.
And Bruce believes his opposite number Dyche will miss the reliability and professionalism of the Republic of Ireland international, who scored ten goals in 139 appearances during his time at Turf Moor.
“He’s a very, very good player, the kid, and he’ll be a valuable addition to us,” said the Magpies boss.
“He can play in numerous positions, a great pro, and a really good lad. We’re delighted to have him on board. I’m sure Sean will miss him, because obviously he’s a very good player.”