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Bruce Hints At Rare Start For 28-Year-Old Against Oxford


There’s a good chance Christian Atsu will be handed just his ninth start this season. Steve Bruce spoke to BBC Newcastle ahead of the trip to Oxford about the 28-year-old winger.

Matthew Raisbeck tweeted the following section of Bruce’s interview this morning.

The part of his comments that are intriguing for tonight’s match is the following:

“He has been a bit frustrated because of Saint-Maximin. But it’s an opportunity for him (at Oxford), and let’s hope he grasps it.”

It appears as though Christian will come in for Allan Saint-Maximin on the left wing. However, Atsu did play left wing-back at Rochdale in the third round, so it could be Matt Ritchie who he comes in for.

Either way, this is an opportunity that Atsu has to take. He refused a move to Blackburn on deadline day to fight for his Newcastle future. Well, tonight is his moment to do just that.

Atsu is a solid professional but has been very poor of late. He started the season well, as Bruce asserts, and was outstanding in the Tottenham win.

He has led the team in assists for some time now. As it stands, he is joint top with Andy Carroll, both on 4.

Atsu has always had a problem with consistency, and it’s been no different this season. If he does get a chance tonight, this is the moment he stayed at Newcastle for.

He needs to take it and help Newcastle get through the fifth round.


121 comments so far

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Feb 4, 2020 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #1

    We played some poor games under Rafa, fair point and totally accurate.

    We’ve been shit every game this season, I don’t think I’ve watched a game and thought we deserved that, we were the better team.

    Against Chelsea I was happy, thought we did well, in reality the last minute winner took my eyes of the actual performance and how toothless we were.

    I agree with how Hope described us on Sunday, he nailed it, just by the responses he got quite a few fans agreed.

    If you’re treading water in football you’re going backwards, we aren’t even treading water, we’re doing 80 in reverse.

    We’ll do a Sunderland if this is allowed to continue for 3 years.

    21
  • dexter53

    Feb 4, 2020 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #2

    He wont grasp it because hes just no good.

    10
  • Jib

    Feb 4, 2020 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #3

    dexter53

    He wont grasp it because hes just no good.

    a verysimple view

    3
  • c-dog

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #4

    We are fairly poor I agree. Still, we back the signings made. Lejeune this, Fernandez that. The money invested isn’t good enough and as a result neither are the managers or the players. If you support any players signed then support the manager. Both a result of the leadership. There’s no middle ground.

    2
  • Jib

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #5

    Bruce has confirmed Lejeune, Schar and both Longstaffs will play.

    3
  • Jib

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #6

    Miguel Almiron and new boy Nabil Bentaleb are set to play
    so with Darlow that makes 7 of the eleven

    2
  • c-dog

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #7

    4-4-1-1 hopefully
    Matty in the hole

    0
  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #8

    It’s got nothing to with money spent etc.

    THERES NO PLAN

    NOTHING

    NADA

    Theres no direction, no one with any idea where the club is heading, no identity on the pitch, no leaders, no heroes.

    No one with any power gives a f@#k about the club, other than what it can do for them

    8
  • c-dog

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #9

    BoycottAshley

    It’s got everything to do with money

    0
  • Moonraker15

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #10

    Doesn’t really matter who plays our problem is scoring a goal or 2 !

    3
  • geordietom

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #11

    Atsu to start …

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #13

    “With a debate about his mid-table side’s style – or lack of it – raging on Tyneside, Bruce is probably relieved to be travelling to Oxford for Tuesday night’s FA Cup fourth-round replay. Victory would offer Newcastle a trip to West Brom in the fifth round for the first time since 2006 but avoiding an embarrassment against League One opposition at the Kassam Stadium will surely necessitate the visitors summoning up some elusive creativity.” (Louise Taylor)

    2
  • Jib

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #14

    so there we have eight now

    0
  • Jib

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #15

    Ron
    Have you and Louise Taylor got something going on ?
    Is there something we should be told ?

    1
  • Ron Knee

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #16

    Is it *that* obvious, Jib?

    2
  • Jib

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #17

    😛

    1
  • Jib

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #18

    I hope c-dog is right and young Matty is being pushed forward

    0
  • The next Mike Williamson

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #19

    Did Bruce really just name a bunch of teams that play three at the back and say that means they play the same as us. Shows what the cabbage knows about football. Burnley play the same as us.

    And last article it said we possibly played ok against wolves. my wolves mate said it was the worst team theyve played since theyve been up and still talks about our keeper and the luck we had.

    2
  • Jib

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #21

    Give the boring negativity a rest until post match please.
    Just a suggestion

    5
  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #22

    Continue with reality please.

    5
  • OneAlanShearer

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #23

    So

    …darlow

    TBC1? Lejeune schar TBC2?

    Atsu S.longstaff bentaleb almiron

    M.longstaff

    TBC3?

    0
  • hibbit

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #24

    maybe Bruce could give the boring negativity during the match a rest.and afterwards in his press conferences , i wont make excuses BUT,

    Just a suggestion

    15
  • c-dog

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #25

    Jib

    I suspect we’ll hit them for at least 3
    Young Matty to get at least 1

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #26

    Has Bbb been sedated, I hope it’s a weeks dose. He was like a woman scorned when I asked him to go and get some kip 😮

    5
  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #27

    Jib/Jane/Jeff your boring negative comments are so repeatedly boring and negative. Could you put a hold on those? Yeah,,, thanks. And please put a cover sheet on those TPS forms. And I’m going to have to ask you to come in on Saturday to work on that attitude problem.

    5
  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #28

    For tonights match:

    “We should be so lucky,
    lucky, lucky, lucky.
    We should be scoring for fun”

    2
  • c-dog

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #29

    I can see the separatists forming their pre match collective. Ready to jump on any mistake.
    Let’s hope young Matty gags them before they start

    0
  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #30

    I’m still trying to get me head around how saying we’re lucky is a insult to the players but saying they’re not good enough to play in another system isn’t.

    5
  • Jib

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #31

    Again like with the Norwich game
    Folk who don’t know too much , acting as if the opposition is a pushover

    0
  • c-dog

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #32

    Jib

    Oxford have the joint best defensive record in their league

    0
  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #33

    I can handle mistakes.

    Poor preparation, players looking lost with no idea what they’re meant to be doing, no tactics, no possession, no game plan are all things I can’t handle.

    “Let’s hope we can dominate Oxford”

    Such giddy heights to aim for, my faith in Bruce is now restored.

    3
  • Anglo Saxon

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #34

    Jib Shane Warne couldn’t put any positive spin on this team dimwit.

    5
  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Feb 4, 2020 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #35

    C dog

    Preparing the excuses already?

    1
  • DaveD1000

    Feb 4, 2020 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #36

    OP
    I find the excellent man manager saying “they’re not good enough” in any sentence to be bizarre

    4
  • Uncertain Toon

    Feb 4, 2020 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #37

    Getting a bit concerned with Bruce’s interviews, saying stuff about his players technical abilities could turn them against him, or a bit of reverse psychology maybe prove the gaffer wrong.

    Anyway 3-1 to the toon. Joe Linton 2 and a rapier missile from Schaar if he plays. And Lascelles scores for them!

    Get decent odds on that like!!!

    Reckon you’d get a nice holiday for £1 if that came in.

    2
  • c-dog

    Feb 4, 2020 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #38

    Oxford Have kept 10 clean sheets at home this season.

    Our #9 has 2 goals in 28 matches across all competitions

    1
  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Feb 4, 2020 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #39

    Dave

    I thought it was just me being daft.

    I’ve heard of building your players up but he’s cutting them off at the knees.

    I’ll be surprised if many sign nes contracts, the players see what’s going on.

    2
  • The next Mike Williamson

    Feb 4, 2020 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #40

    Bruce saying he could play the way Norwich do easily and suggesting our players arent technically gifted enough… Then why has he always played crap football over approx 1000 games? this is more or less Bruces only style. even Farke said Bruces teams were like this in the championship. Thats both Villa and Sheff Wed who played nicer football when he left.

    3

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