Bruce explains key reason Newcastle lacked a ‘bit of quality’ at West Brom

Date published: Sunday 7th March 2021 2:58 - Samuel Bannister

Steve Bruce said he was “disappointed” that Newcastle couldn’t beat relegation rivals West Brom, but could not have asked for more in terms of effort.

It has been a testing time for Newcastle recently, with a string of negative results dragging them into a relegation battle.

They remain outside the bottom three, but missed a big opportunity to put distance between the sides below them as they were held to a goalless draw by 19th-placed West Brom.

As things stand, Newcastle are two places above the drop zone. However, they would have liked to have got a first win in four games.

Bruce admitted that he was unsure if they deserved to have won. But he saw enough attributes from his players to give him confidence.

He told BBC Sport: “We are disappointed that we didn’t win. Whether we did enough to win it, who knows?

“I was delighted with their attitude and spirit. We showed a real desire to get something out of the game. In terms of the problems we have had, in terms of injuries not rows, it was important.

“We have been hamstrung a bit with big players at the top end of the pitch. For their effort and attitude, I could not ask for anything more.

“That little bit of quality at times we lacked a bit, but that is what you pay money for. Where we have invested over the last few months, unfortunately they are all injured.”

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Newcastle situation ‘blown out of proportion’

Newcastle’s struggles on the pitch have not been made any easier by the widespread knowledge of rows on their training ground.

Bruce maintains his disagreement with Matt Ritchie was something that happens at every club. As they reach the business end of the season, he wants full focus on the pitch.

He continued: “I never had any doubt. With Newcastle things seem to get blown out of proportion. Rows happen every other day at every other club up and own the country.

“Eleven games to go, we’ve done OK. The last five or six games there’s only been Chelsea and Manchester United that have beaten us. We will take a point and move on.”

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