Steve Bruce confessed that injuries have played their part in Newcastle’s woes and hopes Sunday’s victory over Burnley can act as a catalyst for the rest of the season.
The Magpies had not tasted success since February 6 and had won just two this year before their Turf Moor triumph. Matej Vydra’s first-half strike was no more than the hosts deserved as Newcastle struggled to get anything going. But a double switch early in the second period turned the game on its head. Bruce brought on Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson in the 57th minute.
He ran from the halfway line before finding the bottom corner to complete the comeback. The visitors held out for a crucial three points, meaning they are now six points clear of 18th-placed Fulham.
Bruce acknowledged just how important the triumph was. And he made it clear just what the team has been missing with big players on the sidelines.
“This win is big but there’s still a bit to go. Certainly it’s a helping hand. It’s an important game, so to win it was very good,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s been difficult with our injuries. You can see what Allan Saint-Maximin brings to the team. We’ve missed that bit of quality and excitement.
“To be missing your top players constantly, it affects teams.”
And the 60-year-old has stressed that everyone at the club will be remaining grounded.
“We can’t get carried away but back-to-back wins in the Premier League is huge. It sets us up nicely, we’ve got some tough challenges but this helps,” he added. “Let’s hope our players stay fit. As good as I think I am, I need our best players.”
Dyche frustrated but still upbeat
Burnley are now just one point above Newcastle in the standings. They are also going through a tough patch, with one win in eight games.
But manager Sean Dyche feels there are positives and is adamant that his side are not as bad as results suggest.
“There were a lot of good things about the performance but there’s a sense of frustration. Their keeper made a couple of big saves. We’re a bit limited at the minute,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s a strange season for us. We played well for a large period of the game last week and didn’t see it through. The same things has happened this week. We’re not a million miles away.”