The five key quotes from Steve Bruce's pre-Arsenal press conference
 (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

After Newcastle United's worst defeat of their 2020/21 Premier League campaign so far away at bottom side Sheffield United on Tuesday night, head coach Steve Bruce has come under immense amounts of pressure by The Toon supporters to turn the club's fortunes around quickly after a run of eight games without a win.

Bruce's first opportunity to answer the critics after the poor showing at Bramall Lane is against a familiar opponent in Arsenal - a side who knocked Newcastle out of the FA Cup last weekend.

Here are the most important responses the Newcastle boss made to the media in his pre-match press conference this afternoon:

On the crushing midweek defeat

Steve Bruce was honest on the way his team played and the side he selected against a Blades side that were winless in 17 league games before facing Newcastle.

"We were absolutely hopeless in the first half at Sheffield United.

"Unfortunately, in my 18 months here, we’ve thrown that hand grenade in too often.

"In hindsight, I picked the wrong team. I don’t think all of the criticism is fair, but I understand it."

On whether he has lost the dressing room

Bruce was asked whether he has lost the dressing room after the midweek defeat, mixed with a long run of games without a win.

The Toon head coach says you would have to ask his players on that question, but did say there was 'nothing wrong' with the performances against Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester.

“Have I lost the dressing room? I’m the wrong person to ask of that, but I seen nothing wrong with them against Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester.

"But the hand grenade has been thrown in when we’re expected to win has happened too many times on my watch.”

On fan criticism

After waives of supporters calling for Bruce to be sacked after Tuesday night's defeat, The Magpies boss said that it has 'been personal' from the first day he stepped in the role and will not give in to the criticism.

"When I took the job, from day one it's been personal as far as I was concerned.

"There are certain people out there who think I shouldn't be in the job to begin with.

"I know it can change quickly. I've made a career of never giving in and I won't."

On whether he has spoken to Mike Ashley

Bruce told the media he has not talked to owner Mike Ashley since Tuesday, but is in regular conversation with Managing Director Lee Charnley.

He said that the results 'haven't been good enough', and recognises that fellow Premier League managers such as Mikel Arteta and Frank Lampard have also become 'under pressure' recently.

"No but I speak to the CEO [Lee Charnley] two or three times a day and that's normal.

"We're always under the pump as managers in PL in terms of results.

"Results haven't been good enough; Arteta was, Frank [Lampard] is.

"You become 'under pressure'."

An injury update

The Newcastle head coach did say that Jamal Lewis and captain Jamaal Lascelles could be fit to play on Monday.

He also confirmed that Allan Saint-Maximin that may train 'today or tomorrow' after recovering from COVID-19.

One player however that is set to miss out on Monday night's game is Federico Fernandez, who has a 'problem' according to his head coach, but did not go into any further detail.

"Jamal Lewis could come back in, [Jamaal] Lascelles could, we'll see how he is.

"We've got a problem with [Federico] Fernandez.

"[Allan] Saint-Maximin is maybe training today or tomorrow, which is a bit of good news, but he's been out for 7 weeks.

"Fatigue is the biggest thing."

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