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How Newcastle United have given Steve Bruce a pleasant surprise

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Steve Bruce did not expect Newcastle United to be just two points off fifth place at this stage of the season - but the Magpies head coach admits it is 'important to keep a level'.

Newcastle have made the best start to a season since the Alan Pardew era after claiming 15 points from their opening 12 games and sit seven points clear of the relegation zone in 13th place.

There have been some dramatic lows along the way this season - terrible performances at Norwich and Leicester - but the black-and-whites have lost just one game, against Chelsea, since that 5-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium six weeks ago.

Bruce did not hold back with his tirade in the away dressing room at the King Power Stadium and that silent flight home from East Midlands Airport stuck with the squad.

After experimenting with four at the back against the Foxes, Newcastle have reverted to 3-4-2-1 and Bruce has been buoyed by his side's response since then.

There, you rely on your experience and want your team to respond.

Newcastle have claimed 10 points since that humiliating defeat at Leicester six weeks ago - which has proved a turning point for this group of players.
For more news relating to Chelsea, visit our sister site Chelsea Live.
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