Steve Bruce insists Newcastle were showing signs of improvement before Graeme Jones’ appointment

Steve Bruce insists Newcastle started to improve BEFORE Graeme Jones was appointed amid claims the club’s new assistant manager was behind shock win at Everton which ended their 11-game run without a victory

  • Steve Bruce says Newcastle were improving before Graeme Jones’ appointment 
  • Newcastle beat Everton 2-0 on Saturday in Jones’ first game as assistant boss 
  • Last week Jones spoke about bringing a new ‘style’ and ‘system’ to Newcastle 
  • Newcastle used diamond formation v Everton, which Jones has used previously

Steve Bruce says Newcastle United’s improvement began before the arrival of Graeme Jones.

The Magpies ended a six-match losing run during Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Everton, after which coverage and supporter reaction centred around the influence of the new assistant manager.

Jones arrived last week and immediately spoke of bringing a new ‘style’ and ‘system’ during a forthright unveiling interview.

Steve Bruce has insisted that Newcastle started to improve before Graeme Jones’ arrival

The team were set up in a new ‘diamond’ formation at Goodison Park, a system previously used by Jones, and they were unrecognisable from their efforts of late as a Callum Wilson double ended 11 games without a win.

Bruce, however, believes the turnaround pre-dated the addition of the Bournemouth coach.

‘Look, Graeme has worked for a couple of days with us,’ said Bruce when asked about his impact.

‘Personally, I think we have seen improvements against Leeds (2-1 defeat) in midweek. I saw a slight improvement against Aston Villa (2-0 defeat) in the second half. Over the last two or three weeks there have been a few signs. What you need to do is pull it all together.

‘Of course, Graeme has been here 48 hours and has had a little bit of input to what we’re trying to achieve. He will be a welcome addition to what we’re trying to do. Let’s hope it continues.’

Bruce described the appointment of his new assistant manager as 'a welcome addition'

Bruce described the appointment of his new assistant manager as ‘a welcome addition’

Bruce, though, did not want to discuss the finer details of the new formation.

‘Did we play a diamond formation?’ he said. ‘You’re the experts, you tell me.’

Bruce has long since spoken of being reluctant to implement his own tactics because his players are ‘really comfortable’ with what he believes was a cautious approach under former boss Rafa Benitez.

But after declaring last month that the ‘gloves were off’ and ‘I will do it my way’, Bruce added: ‘Since that awful night at Sheffield United (1-0 defeat last month), I said then that we’re going to change.

Callum Wilson scored a brace as Newcastle beat Everton to bring their losing run to an end

Callum Wilson scored a brace as Newcastle beat Everton to bring their losing run to an end

‘I’ve waited a long, long time because I always felt that the squad were really, really comfortable in the way it worked before. Yes, maybe it’s took a lot longer, but this is the way we were going to try and achieve it.

‘We’ve always been a bit reluctant because of the players we’ve got at the club. But certainly, I think they’re now starting to buy into it. Some will say, “Well, after 18 months they should”.

‘But I left it alone for so long because they were comfortable in what they were doing. But this is the way forward. This is the way we will try to be. That’s what people want to see.’

Bruce was then asked what he had made of the positive coverage around Jones, and smiled as he said: ‘Inspired choice.’