Five way Bruce could turn the tide at Newcastle
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Steve Bruce has a lot to ponder as he gets ready to welcome Manchester United to St James' Park after numerous poor performances this season.

Below is five things he could do to get fans behind the team and more positive results.

Get his side playing with pace on the counter

Newcastle United have an abundance of quick players who can get in-behind their full-backs and will thrive playing on the counter-attack.
Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Christian Atsu are players that can cause defenders headaches all game if they are given space to run into.

Bruce has failed to show what he wants from his players and the way he wants them to approach games but to utilise the players at his disposal, playing on the break seems the most effective way for Bruce to turn around results.

Start players in their preferred positions

Bruce has failed to acknowledge where his player prefer to play as several have looked uncomfortable on the pitch.

Almiron has played on the right win and as a striker, Fabian Schar was deployed as a left centre-back and Jetro Willems thrown into central midfield.

Players will not be able to put in good enough performances if they cannot showcase their talents in unfamiliar positions.

Stop changing formations

Newcastle have played with three or five at the back for the last 18 months, however, Bruce has been desperate to play with a back four and got his wish against Leicester City and got found out.

Bruce has played four different formations this season, however, he has used these several times during games, sometimes changing formations three/four times in 90 minutes.

Bruce must settle on a formation in which he can get the most out of his players as well as implementing his own ideas.

Press more effectively

Newcastle have managed just 4.8 challenge intensity, down on last season's 5.6 proving the squad are not fighting as hard for every ball and not as quick or eager to win the ball back.

The players have sat off opponents and offered them space to play in before engaging with them when they cross the halfway line.

To compete with other teams Bruce must get his side pressing collectively and not in ones or twos to make it difficult for teams to get into their final third.

Get players back fit

Newcastle got very few injuries last season and reaped the rewards of that having a consistent core squad that helped them progress and develop as the season went on.

However, Bruce has seen Matt Ritchie, Saint-Maximin, Dwight Gayle and Willems all having picked up injuries this season.

If he is to get Newcastle out of the relegation zone he will need to clear out the treatment room and have competition for places to make players raise their games.