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Bruce Refutes Notion That Survival Is A Battle Between Two Clubs



Tomorrow is another crucial day for Newcastle’s survival chances, and we’re not even playing. The club that is hot on our trail, Fulham, do play and they host basement dwellers Sheffield on Saturday afternoon.

The Cottagers have become a focus of many of Newcastle fans as they confidently march closer up the table. Our once comfortable cushion of ten points has been deflated to just six in less than a week.

It’s the word confidence that has maybe unsettled a few fans, I know it has shaken me a bit. Quite a few pundits have put Newcastle firmly in Fulham’s sights as the club to overtake. While we are closest in 17th, there’s still a fair few targets just ahead of us in the table.

But it’s the Magpies who now have the bullseye on our backs. Pundits aside, Fulham boss, and former Magpie, Scott Parker is targetting Newcastle as the closest and possibly weakest of the pack outside the relegation places.

Parker said the following after Fulham drew 1-1 against Burnley on Wednesday as he looks ahead to Sheffield on Saturday:

“It’s a massive game for us now.

“The gap was 10 points, it’s now six. It’s going in the right direction and we’re going into Saturday trying to win that game.

“Our main focus is how we perform to get results in this division but of course the main focus (is to reel in Newcastle).

“I believe we’re very competitive in this league. I feel every game we play, we can win, I honestly do.

“I feel like my team can really go and get results in this division, we’ve proven that.

“We’ve only won all three all season but we’re very hard to beat and we have got quality.”

Fulham have greatly improved since the beginning of the season, there’s no doubt about that. While they often are tough to beat, winning consistently is still an elusive animal for them. They’ve only won three matches, as Parker admits, but have drawn 10 times, including the 1-1 draw at St. James’ Park towards the beginning of our horrid winless streak.

The inability to win has severely hampered Fulham’s march up the table, which is a massive blessing for Newcastle, as the cushion has been flattened but still requires a lot of work for Fulham to overcome.

Steve Bruce recently responded to Parker’s comments. The Northern Echo has published the following statement from Bruce about the brewing battle for 17th position in the Premier League:

“I’ve always said that it’s your accumulation of points that determines what you get at the end of the season. No matter what anyone else does, you’ve got to set yourself a target of whatever that points tally may be.

“If you look at the bottom six or seven at the moment, there are two or three points separates a host of teams. We’re not alone in it.

“Fulham have obviously won (last weekend) and closed the gap a bit, but they’re still struggling to win as well. I think they’ve only won one of their last 14 games.

“It’s all to play for. We know we’re in the bottom half of the division, which means we have to get to the (safety) figure as quickly as we possibly can.

“Let’s see where we all are at the end of the season. If they’re (Fulham) confident, then let’s see where we all end up.

“Sometimes, your fixture list in terms of when you’re playing certain teams can color things a bit and help in certain situations, but you’ve just got to quietly get about your job and get the points on the board, and that’s what we’ll be trying to achieve.”

If Bruce is worried, he’s not showing it and is putting on a brave public face at the moment. He does make a few good points worth mentioning. Fulham are in a stretch of games where they must pick up not only points but really wins.

The 2-0 win at Goodison Park last weekend was massive for them and fueled their growing belief of escaping the bottom three. However, the Burnely draw could be seen as a missed opportunity, though Burnley too have improved recently.

Next up for Fulham is Sheffield tomorrow and then Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park next Sunday. After these two matches, their path gets more daunting with Liverpool, Manchester City away, and Leeds before the international break. So the next two matches are critical for Fulham to pick up more than a couple of points.

Newcastle, after getting two wins in three, took a step back at Chelsea with a 2-0 defeat, though it was not an unexpected result. On Sunday, it’s Manchester United, where any result would likely be seen as a bonus.

The current run of fixtures does favor Fulham but that will change in the next few weeks. So Bruce makes a salient point there as he does in affirming that it’s not a battle between Fulham and Newcastle for safety.

There are teams in the table just above Newcastle, who while slightly better off, are by no means out of the mire just yet. Brighton, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Southampton, and Wolves are all within five points in the table. So the five teams above are closer than the team directly behind.

This is not to say Newcastle haven’t put themselves in a dreadful position by underperforming for much of the season. That is crystal clear. This was touted as a season of progress with a top ten finish as the stated aim. It’s a step backward into a relegation fray.

However, there are still games to be played and the battle for survival is not just Cottagers chasing Magpies, at least not yet.

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126 comments so far

  • cyprus

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #81

    Fulham won 3.

    0
  • Mund

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #82

    22 why do you continue this no sale parade 😉

    0
  • Moonraker15

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #83

    LCBP
    We didn’t attack much that game at QPR when we won 6-0 either did we?!!!

    0
  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #84

    Fulham keep picking up points though draws, we just get beat, slowly slowly catchy monkey.

    2
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #85

    The best way to silence Fulham is for us to start picking up points if we were to get a win on Sunday and a win against Wolves it would silence them

    Easier said than done mind you

    0
  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #86

    We’ve drawn 3

    0
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #87

    @Moonraker

    Or when we ended up top scorers in the league that season………

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #88

    Moonraker,
    But we could have attacked more.

    0
  • carltoon

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #89

    Please no relegation for me, it was hard enough last time, and we had a fantastic manager and a good team. I would give up all together.

    1
  • toon22

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #90

    Mund

    Because going along with the sale lie has kept him at our club
    He needs people to believe he’s going
    Giving them hope

    I’ve no intention of helping him rob our club
    I’ve heard the sale lie enough
    I’m not going to sit and watch people help him with his favourite lie

    8
  • toon22

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #91

    Who do you think he will pretend to sell us to next time?

    7
  • cyprus

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #92

    It may seem that Fulham are the form team, because a draw doesn’t look that bad.

    But, in the last 6 games they gained 1 point on us. We got 6 points, they 7.

    We’ve figured it out. We don’t do draws 🙂

    1
  • lochinvar

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #93

    Fancy that.
    Jose stealing an idea from Bruce.
    Who would have thought that.

    Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says it is still too early to look at the Premier League table

    (and believes Spurs can finish in the top four despite their recent faltering form)

    1
  • Moonraker15

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #94

    22
    Even Ashley knows very few if any, fans are buying season tickets until the sale is done!
    It’s going to happen mate! Ashley doesn’t want the hassle any more! Bruce is there just to save us from relegation. That’s how much he knows about football after 14 years as owner!

    4
  • captainmarvel

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #95

    I think the blog is in a much better place now and that is remarkable when the club is going through one of the most difficult times in it’s long history..
    It is an obvious fact that bloggers will not agree 100% of the time but I think given the circumstances the turmoil, the takeover,( or not), people have realised how much this blog means to them and long may it continue…
    We all support this great club, hopefully it will get back to where it should be at the very top..

    5
  • magicmac54

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #96

    Just picture it Steve Bruce is taking the club who pays his wages, and the region he comes from to Old Trafford on sunday to play Man Utd, but secretly he wants the opposition to win, how can he look at himself in the mirror, just like his pay master Ashley the guy has no character, no class, no morals, those two are very well matched.

    3
  • Moonraker15

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #97

    Captainmarvel

    Well said! We are UNITED!

    2
  • cyprus

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #98

    Magic I know you don’t believe that.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #99

    magicmac54,
    I hope you are well. When asked about Fulham catching us he said that everyone is looking over their and Fulham hadn’t won for 11 games anyway.

    0
  • toon22

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #100

    Moonraker

    Maybe so maybe not
    Believing in the sale helps him with his little fairy tale
    Has done for decades
    Neither of us has any real idea what’s happening with sales
    Having the lie will help him as it always has

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #101

    *their shoulder

    0
  • magicmac54

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #102

    Captainmarvel@95

    Well said Mr Captain, first class post, always the voice of reason.

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #103

    So he didn’t have a clue what the Leeds results were and didn’t realise their weakness at set pieces but knows exactly how Fulham’s results are panning out 😕

    4
  • toon22

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #104

    Ill be over joyed the day it happens
    Till then I’m not helping him with his lies
    Im not helping him shift STs
    I’m not buying anything from him

    I’m going to make sure people see the point of view his PR hate

    9
  • toon22

    Feb 19, 2021 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #105

    Being optimistic hasn’t done a thing to hinder the turd in any way
    It’s helped him

    4
  • cleveleysbob

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #106

    At the moment, I’m struggling to participate with the chat.

    There is nothing that I can say about the current regime from top to bottom that doesn’t have so many expletives in it that I’d be banned for life.

    And I’m reluctant to add to the “takeover” debate, because, although it’s ongoing, the NDA’s mean no one is getting any up to date accurate info, so everything else is speculative and probably BS. Adding to that pile of BS can only result in either boring the blog to death or causing a fresh fight between the believers and non believers.

    So, for now, I’ll keep grazing in the background, until I can think of something that may be relevant and not include obscenities. 🙂

    5
  • magicmac54

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #107

    Jail for Ashley

    How can he say Fulham haven`t won for 11 games anyway as they beat Everton away only last week, jail has bruce been on the magic mushsrooms or what lol

    3
  • Mund

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #108

    22

    Please tell me how you would be helping him rob our club?

    You can’t do anything right now other than sit there like every other fan. No fans will be allowed in stadiums for a long time and when it does start it will be that little it would hardly make a dent.

    Ashley will be gone before that

    1
  • hibbit

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #109

    onmeedsun @61
    unfortunately that choice is not on the table and we have to play the cards we’re dealt,
    at the moment i dont see any advantage in relegation, i would see relegation a complete disaster for the club the fans and the city and i firmly believe it would play right in to the pl and the so called big 6 hands,

    11
  • Tackle from behind

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #110

    I’ve managed to keep quiet about my silence for some time now, but now more.

    I can confirm I have nothing to add.

    2
  • magicmac54

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #111

    Jail for Ashley

    What time do you start work tonight Jail, and will you again be checking into the night shift just to make sure we are all behaving ourselves he he he he he

    0
  • captainmarvel

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #112

    Bruce is extremely lucky that fans are not at games I am certain his toes would be curling at the very thought..(Extremely is not really enough)..

    2
  • Jamesthefirst

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #113

    Bruce post match interview after Man Utd game

    “Well, look, when you concede that early it’s always going to be an uphill battle. Unfortunately their 4th goal was a little harsh. We were getting over run in midfield in the first 15 minutes, so I made a change in the 65th minute to deal with that and keep the damage down. I saw lots of positives. We had a couple of decent crosses in the second half. So if we can cross a little more, we will be okay.”

    4
  • Great White Hunter

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #114

    No relegation for me neither, when in these divisions you just get completely blanked on the world football scene, hardly mentioned on Sky,BT no MOTD, nothing, basically just forgotten about. Going to the likes of Barnsley,Bristol or Blackburn and trying to get exited, sorry not for me, anyway the takeover will happen anyway!

    3
  • hibbit

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #115

    Captainmarvel if fans were in the ground Bruce would have been gone weeks ago,

    5
  • magicmac54

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #116

    Tackle

    What ever you say, say nothing ah the silence is beautiful lol

    1
  • cleveleysbob

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #117

    Nice one Tackle, reliable for a laugh as always. 😉

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #118

    Half six magicmac54,
    I’ll be popping in at some stage but plan to get a couple of hours sleep at dinner time.

    0
  • Mund

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #119

    I don’t even think if the stadium was full all season long that Ashley would of removed Bruce and no way Bruce would of walked

    0
  • Wor B

    Feb 19, 2021 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #120

    I have something to say but no way am I saying here!

    5


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