Newcastle manager Steve Bruce on Rafael Benitez’s recent comments, Andy Carroll’s fitness and Jetro Willems mix-up ahead of Norwich clash

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Newcastle manager Steve Bruce addressed a variety of topics as the Magpies bid to kick-start their Premier League campaign at Norwich tomorrow – live on talkSPORT 2.

Following their opening day defeat to Arsenal last Sunday, Bruce takes his side to Carrow Road in search of his first win as Newcastle manager.

Bruce has a mammoth task on his hands at Newcastle

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Bruce has a mammoth task on his hands at Newcastle

But Bruce’s mammoth task extends from the field of play, with disquiet still looming large among the Magpies faithful.

His predecessor, Rafael Benitez, has dominated the headlines in recent days, detailing the reasons for his controversial departure during the summer.

Meanwhile, Bruce has several injuries to content with, as Dwight Gayle, Christian Atsu and new signing Andy Carroll continue to recover from long-term problems.

And in more bizarre news, the Newcastle manager explained the strange tactical mix-up which saw debutant Jetro Willems, a full-back, play in midfield against the Gunners.


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Steve Bruce on Rafa Benitez’s comments

“I have not seen them, I don’t take much notice.

“Rafa is an experienced coach.

“Everybody was disappointed with the way he left.

“He’s a very good manager who did well and a lot of people are upset.

“He’s gone to China and it’s time to move on.”

Rafael Benitez is reportedly earning £12m a year to manage in China

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Rafael Benitez is reportedly earning £12m a year to manage in China

Steve Bruce on Andy Carroll’s fitness and other injury news

“He [Carroll] has done running on the grass. He is four or five weeks away. I am sure he will have a big part to play.

“We think Jonjo Shelvey is going to be OK. He trained yesterday and the day before. We’ve got a slight doubt about Allan Saint-Maximin. He’s got a bit of a hamstring and we’ll see how he is today.

“Of the long term injuries – Carroll, [Dwight] Gayle, [Christian] Atsu – they’re still a little bit off yet.”

Steve Bruce on tactical misunderstanding with Jetro Willems

“I put Jetro on in midfield where he played for Frankfurt.

“Then I thought it was unfair, and I switched him quickly.

“We made a mistake. You make a mistake in the Premier League.”

Willems had a debut to forget against Arsenal

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Willems had a debut to forget against Arsenal

Steve Bruce on Norwich

“Norwich won’t be easy. Like every promoted team everybody is excited and they haven’t been here for a few years. Last season Norwich ran away with it in the Championship. We know what they are about.

“We will have to defend well. When we are at the top end of the pitch can we exploit them?

“I have always tried to have a winning mentality. We have to have the belief to go there and get a result.”

Noriwch suffered a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool on the opening night

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Noriwch suffered a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool on the opening night

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.


talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up this weekend…

  • Huddersfield Town vs Fulham (Friday, 7.45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Arsenal vs Burnley (Saturday, 12.30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Sunderland vs Portsmouth (Saturday, 12.30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Norwich City vs Newcastle United (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday, 5.30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Reading vs Cardiff City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

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