Newcastle United face a spell of three season-defining games before 20 March – and the run couldn’t have come at a worse time amid a bust-up revelation.
That is according to ex-England goalkeeper Paul Robinson, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the Daily Mail broke news of a training ground altercation between manager Steve Bruce and winger Matt Ritchie.
The pair come to blows at Darsley Park after Bruce was left frustrated by Ritchie’s tactical indiscipline in the 1-1 draw with Wolves on Saturday.
Steve Bruce has today confirmed the incident.
The Magpies are floundering towards the bottom of the table with just three points separating them from Fulham in 18th.
And Newcastle’s three matches before the international break will decide their relegation fate, predicts Robinson.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “They seem to have been sucked back into it unwittingly and rather quietly in recent weeks.
“With their injury list, especially up front, it’s going to be a big ask for them. West Brom v Newcastle is a massive game for both clubs. But it’s a huge, huge game for Newcastle.
“A 1-1 draw against Wolves probably wasn’t enough. They need to start putting wins together.
“Their next three fixtures will determine whether they stay up. They’ve got West Brom away, Villa at home and then away to Brighton. That could be it for Bruce.”
Bruce has been in charge of Newcastle in July 2019 and has faced staunch opposition from supporters throughout his reign.
He secured a 13th-place finish for the Magpies last season.