Former Premier League midfielder Danny Murphy has spoken of his admiration for Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce, who he thinks has worked ‘damn hard’ at set plays.
Things are looking up for Newcastle after a rocky start to the season, with the Magpies having won back-to-back games in the Premier League.
The club are up to 13th in the table now, and a third straight win after the international break would propel them into the top half.
Bruce is slowly working his way towards acceptance from the Magpies’ faithful, and Murphy believes he is doing a good job.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “What he’s done, with the players he’s got, is he’s found a way of winning games.
“He’s worked damn hard at set plays, you can see that. He’s made some very very cute tactical changes in various games which I’ve seen.”
Murphy then heaped praise on Jonjo Shelvey after the midfielder’s recent return to the starting XI.
“Shelvey is hugely important to that team,” he added. “Although he’s not the most athletic in the world, and there’s talk about ill-discipline which we’ve seen, he’s a wonderful footballer. He gives them so much more creativity and he’s been great the last couple of games.”
TBR’s view – Shelvey can help Bruce achieve acceptance
Bruce is getting there with the supporters, and he can achieve their backing if he puts his faith in Shelvey.
The £70,000-a-week star (Spotrac) has the creative talents to make things happen for the Magpies and Bruce shouldn’t be leaving him out.
The Longstaffs and Isaac Hayden are good options, but surely a couple have to miss out to ensure Shelvey gets a run in the side.
By playing Shelvey, Bruce is sending a message that he wants someone to unlock defences – it’s a proactive move that fans would surely have to appreciate.