Steve Bruce claims that Newcastle are trying to play a “more expansive” style of football, but they are “comfortable” with their current way of playing.
Newcastle have stood out for their lack of possession under Bruce, but still managed to overcome Everton when they met on Sunday.
The Magpies had just 37 per cent of the ball, but a brace from Callum Wilson saw them become the second team to beat the Toffees this season. A consolation from Dominic Calvert-Lewin in stoppage time prompted some Newcastle nerves, but they held on.
Hence, Bruce got the better of Carlo Ancelotti, even if the Everton boss was unable to call on some of his regular starters.
After the game, Bruce shed light on his tactical approach.
He told Sky Sports: “We knew it would be a battle against one of the great managers. He has had a few problems with injuries but I couldn’t be more pleased. We deserved it.
“I don’t know where we got six minutes [of added time] from at the end. They threw everything at at us and the goal makes it edgy.
“We’re trying to do things a different way and be more expansive but it is a work in progress. We have to do what is best for the team. They are comfortable at the moment.”
Bruce examines penalty decision
Newcastle took the lead through a penalty, although there was a lengthy VAR check to see if it would stand. It eventually did – and Wilson converted – but Bruce admitted he would have seen things differently had it gone against his side instead.
He said: “If I’m going to be honest, it seems like very little contact means a penalty these days. If it was against me I would be disappointed. But we can’t keep complaining about it.
“It is what it is. It was our turn and we will take it.”
Newcastle moved into 10th place after the result, even if the game itself wasn’t much to write home about. Nevertheless, Bruce was satisfied with their work.
“When you play a good team tactically you have to be right,” he said. “It wasn’t much of a spectacle in the first half but once we got the goal… all in all it is a good day’s work for us.”