Steve Bruce has admitted he’s not looking forward to discussing inevitable interest in star man Allan Saint-Maximin, also confirming he’s held no talks with Mike Ashley in recent days.
The Frenchman has been our standout player so far this season, bagging two goals and two assists in five Premier League outings so far this term.
Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton have all been linked with a January move for the 24-year-old; who stressed over the summer that he wouldn’t stick around at St James’ Park forever if we settled for relegation battles each season.
Elsewhere, Bruce has also hinted at a return to a four-man defence in the coming weeks, stating he is “working towards” a more attacking system – as long as it allows us to “get the balance right”. You’ve only had two years, Steve…
The NUFC boss has also responded to the latest wave of ‘Bruce out’ chants that followed last Friday’s 1-1 draw with Leeds, defending our performance on the night but accepting results must improve.
Here’s what he’s had to say on all of the above:
Bruce when asked if he’s had assurances from above on ASM’s future:
“I haven’t even had that conversation [about his future].
“I don’t want to have that conversation as you can imagine.
“We don’t want to lose our best players at all.
“Allan is staying fit, he’s staying well.”
Bruce when asked if he’s held talks with Mike Ashley in recent days:
“No, but there’s nothing new in that.
“I never have dialogue with the owner,”
“My dialogue and my remit is to deal with Lee and that’s what I do in the running of the club, of the day to day business.
“That’s the way it is.”
Bruce on potentially changing formation:
“Over my two years we’ve probably played with a back five about 50% of the time and a four the other 50%.
“We still need to get the balance right.
“I know what the fans want but we’re working towards it.
“It (changing) is something we’re thinking about.”
‘The balance (between defence and attack) is what we’re all striving for.
“At the moment, our problem is defensively. We have to address that.”
Bruce on calls for him to go:
“I’ve had flak since I walked through the door.
“Unfortunately it’s something we all (managers) have to deal with.
“You’re judged on results and we haven’t got enough at the moment.
“We’re supposed to be ‘boring Newcastle’ but we weren’t vs Leeds.”