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Steve Bruce says Newcastle will not take gung-ho route to Premier League safety

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – St James� Park
(Image credit: Scott Hepell)

Steve Bruce will not adopt a gung-ho approach to the task of attempting to ease Newcastle to Premier League safety.

The Magpies, who have won just two of their last 19 top-flight games and none of the last seven, turned in a much more progressive display to secure a 2-2 draw with Tottenham last weekend, prompting former skipper Alan Shearer to suggest that a repeat of that attacking intent represents the way out of trouble.

However as he prepared his side for Sunday’s key trip to Burnley with leading scorer Callum Wilson back among the fold after injury, Bruce insisted he would continue in his mission to strike a balance between potency and solidity.

He said: “You have have an attacking intent – I’m just going to use an example here Norwich now, who are romping away with their attacking intent in the Championship.

“They started life in the Premier League and kept to those beliefs -‘that’s the way we’re going to play and that’s the way we’re going to go about it’ – and unfortunately you get relegated playing that way, so there’s a balance to everything, of course.

“I’ve said since I walked through the door I want to try to get at teams, I want to play a little bit on the front foot. It’s very difficult in the big league and who we’re playing against, so you have to get the balance right to get enough results to stay that way.

“Yes, I understand Alan’s quotes – and of course he’s a centre-forward, so he wants to attack, he’s not interested in defending.

“For me, it’s all about the balance, especially in the Premier League.”

Bruce was delighted with the display against Spurs, which secured a fourth draw in five games, but admitted it would count for little if his team did not build upon it at Turf Moor.

He said: “We’ve produced a performance last week which is arguably as good as we’ve played maybe all season considering the opposition we were playing against. We hope we can take it in – that’s what we’ve banged the drum on all week.

“We understand the severity of the situation because we’ve now been playing in it for weeks. So let’s focus on Burnley the same type of performance and if we play as well as we did last week, then I’ve got no complaints.”