Speaking ahead of our intimidating trip to the Etihad, Pep Guardiola claims Steve Bruce has done an “incredible job” at Newcastle United, suggesting we have struggled less this season than we did across 2019/20.
We gave City an excellent game in the reverse fixture back in November, when Shelvey’s last-gasp peach of an effort made sure the shares were spoiled in an entertaining game, however the same sadly couldn’t be said in our FA Cup quarter final the weekend before last.
Now, in his pre-match press conference, Pep has had some kind words to say about his counterpart, speaking about the time he met him in China last summer and the way he has guided us to safety with time to spare 12 months later.
Here is what the Spaniard said in full:
“He arrived in pre-season when we met in China.
“He landed there to see the last friendly game and there were a lot of rumours. He has done incredibly well in the PL.
“He has already avoided relegation, last season they struggled most of the season until the end.
“He has done an incredible job.
“It was tight and difficult (in the November game). We dropped two more points. We didn’t make an incredible performance but once we had Kevin score the goal we should have been able to finish the game.
“They always have threats. It is a team with good physicality but hopefully we can do a good game like we did a few games ago in the FA Cup.”
Some feel Bruce is getting too much praise, feeling as though keeping up a group of talented players shouldn’t be considered him working wonders, however it must stand for something when a genius like Pep Guardiola sings his praises?
It promises to be a daunting fixture against a City side who will be reeling off their 1-0 defeat to Southampton at the weekend.
We can’t sit back and roll over like we did in the cup game 10 days ago, and we should use this fixture to rotate the squad and freshen up ahead of our trip to Watford on the weekend – although Bruce may have no choice with ASM, Almiron, Lascelles, Hayden and others expected to miss out.
Fingers crossed we aren’t on the receiving end of an absolute hammering and the scoreline is still respectable – I’ve been brave enough to back us at 20/1!