Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce Sets Ten-Win Target ASTIGERS Look to Kick-Start Season

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce Sets Ten-Win Target ASTIGERS Look to Kick-Start Season

Article excerpt

THERE will be no Hatem Ben Arfa or Demba Ba at the KC Stadium when Newcastle United get there on Saturday afternoon.

The Frenchman has been kicked out by Hull altogether and the former United striker is not there - at least yet. What John Carver and his players will face is a team and manager in Steve Bruce who are determined to get their season going at long last.

Bruce, linked with the Newcastle job this month, said: "A good home record was paramount to us last year and I think going into the second half of the season now all of the games are big ones.

"For all of the teams at the bottom and the top it's a vitally important time so if you can win your home games usually that's going to stand you in good stead.

"I've said all along that ten wins is usually enough to keep a team up, sometimes nine because you usually get the three or four draws elsewhere that you need. It's always been a target of mine in any league if you can win ten that usually guarantees that you stay up. It's so tight at the bottom this season that it might not be enough but I'm still convinced it would be and it's all to play for."

Bruce says the club are close to agreeing a loan deal for a Premier League player, but does not expect them to arrive in time to face Newcastle.

He said: "It's always nice to bring one or two in if you possibly can to give everyone a lift in the squad and that's what we've been working on really hard in the last couple of days.

"Let's hope we can get them over the line."

But he added: "I wouldn't have thought it would be done by Saturday if I'm honest. We are working in particular on a loan deal but I wouldn't think it's going to get done before 12 o'clock.

"I would like to say it would be but I really can't see it."

Hull have been tracking Ba, currently at Besiktas, and Bruce is hopeful of signing the Senegalese striker at least until the end of this season on loan. …

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