By Keith Hackett

7th Sep, 2021 | 7:00am

Hackett: Newcastle boss Bruce set for showdown talks after ESPN reveal

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce may be set for a visit from PGMOL boss Mike Riley if he has complaints about the implementation of VAR.

So says former head of the PGMOL Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Newcastle’s poor VAR fortune in 2021-22 so far.

As per ESPN on 29 August, Newcastle have suffered more VAR overturns against them than any other team in the Premier League this season.

Four decisions have gone against Bruce’s side in just three matches.

Last season, however, the Magpies were the only top-flight team not to have a VAR review go against them all season.

Hackett claims VAR’s application has been fair and that Bruce will have the chance to air any grievances with Riley if he so wishes.

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“I don’t think there is anything untoward,” he told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitely.

“If Bruce has got his complaints, he’s got every right, but then Mike Riley may visit him.

“That’s his role. That’s how I used to deal with things when there was some concern.

“I would have taped the games, taken the video and then gone and seen them.

“I think in the third week of the new ‘lighter touch’ scenario, there were some incidents where VAR didn’t come in when I thought it should have.

“We have given them some leeway in the opening stages because of the ‘lighter touch’ rule.

“But ultimately at the end of the day, we want VAR to come in on what are clear and obvious errors.

“I think Bruce will find that on most occasions that VAR is used, it’s overturning the decision. That’s the nature of its operation.

In other news, finance expert Kieran Maguire suggest PiF may have been consulted as Newcastle sign off on new deal.