Steve Bruce demands a 'better performance' against Watford
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on July 08, 2020 in Manchester, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Newcastle United/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce began his pre-match media briefing discussing the injury status of key players such as Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles.

"We'll know a little bit more when we train this afternoon but we hope Almiron, Saint-Maximin & Lascelles will be ok, that will give us a hand.

"The other night we were badly beaten but we had too many of our big players unavailable," said Bruce after Newcastle were humiliated in a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City last time out.

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  • "I'm sure we will be better" than City showing

The Magpies head coach was quizzed on whether his side will be able to respond positively against tomorrow's opponents, Watford.

"The mark of a good team and the honesty of your team is how you respond to a beating.

"I'm sure we will be better.

"We've had a couple of awful results this season and we've responded in the right way."

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  • Bruce's demand

Steve Bruce told the press that he is expecting a better performance from his Newcastle players at Vicarage Road.

"In 38 games I'm sure most teams have had those awful days.

"In football, you have the chance to go again and we've got it around the corner.

"I expect and demand a better performance tomorrow and I'm confident the players will do that."

  • Praise for Pearson

The Newcastle boss seemed bewildered as to how Watford has found themselves in a relegation battle, but praised manager Nigel Pearson for the job he has done since arriving in December 2019.

"When you look at what Watford have got on paper then you wonder why it's been a struggle, but that's the Premier League.

"Nigel Pearson has done a wonderful job in turning them round.

"It will be tough tomorrow, that's for sure, so we better get ready for it."

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  • Injury update

Bruce revealed that some first-team players that missed the clash against Manchester City may return to the squad tomorrow.

"We've got one or two knocks from the other night.

"Emil Krafth is a concern but we've got one or two coming back which is always good.

"I would doubt we'll see Ciaran Clark again this season, but Florian Lejeune might be available towards the end of next week."

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