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HomeSportNewcastle boss Bruce ‘convinced’ his side will avoid relegation

Newcastle boss Bruce ‘convinced’ his side will avoid relegation

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Newcastle manager Steve Bruce is ‘convinced’ his side will avoid relegation from the Premier League this season.

The Magpies scored deep into stoppage time against Aston Villa to pick up a 1-1 draw at home.

The game took a while to get going, with the absence of Jack Grealish and Allan Saint-Maximin noticeable.

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Joelinton was denied early on by a well-timed Ezri Konsa challenge.

In the second half, Villa took the lead through a Ciaran Clark own goal.

Newcastle piled on the pressure late on and got their reward through skipper Jamaal Lascelles.

The defender powered a brilliant header past Emi Martinez to earn the Magpies a point.

Reacting to the match, Bruce told BT Sport (via BBC Sport): “There wasn’t much in the game. Arguably we had the best chances but the goal they scored was a bit of a fluke. Then you have to show desire to get back into it and we did that. We at least deserved that.

“Joelinton has come in for criticism but he’s contributed to the team today. He needs to score a goal and be the hero and I’m sure there’s a goal or two around the corner.

“There are still 10 games to go. We’re unbeaten in our last couple. We’ve got to show the same attitude and hopefully big players are back around the corner. That gives us something to focus on and I’m still convinced we’ll be okay.

“There is no question managing Newcastle is always difficult. There’s a huge spotlight and that’s the way it should be. I’m ready for the challenge and my experience I hope will prove vital.”

The result puts Newcastle on 28 points from 28 games. They’ve now picked up draws in their last three league matches and haven’t won since early February.

Lascelles’ equaliser could prove crucial come the end of the season. Newcastle are now just two points ahead of relegation rivals Brighton and Fulham.

Brighton’s lack of quality in front of goal could keep them in contention for the drop.

But Fulham look set to catch Newcastle after turning their fortunes around.

Scott Parker’s men have picked up eight points from their last five matches.

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