By Wayne Veysey

4th Mar, 2020 | 5:30pm

Exclusive: Top Newcastle source reacts to training ground 'bust-up' claim

There have been no issues between Steve Bruce and any first-team players at Newcastle United despite claims of training-ground unrest, Football Insider understands.

The Mail claim that some players are growing frustrated over Bruce’s tactics as the team have now gone five Premier League games without a win.

A top Newcastle source emphatically denied to Football Insider that there are any issues behind the scenes and claimed suggestions of a rift in the dressing room are untrue.

As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, the manager dropped Allan Saint-Maximin to the bench on Saturday purely as a tactical decision to nullify Burnley’s well-drilled system.

Bruce reverted from playing five at the back to a 4-2-3-1 formation against Burnley, with centre-forward Dwight Gayle supported by Matt Ritchie, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton in attack.

Despite the change, it is understood the players have not voiced any issues with the way they have been instructed to play and that the atmosphere on Tyneside is positive.

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Saint-Maximin returned to the Newcastle XI for last night’s FA Cup win at West Brom and played 80 minutes before making way for Gayle.

A visibly fuming Bruce subsequently hit out at the journalist who wrote the Mail story and insisted he had not had a “bust-up” with the crowd-pleasing forward.

Newcastle are the lowest scorers in the Premier League this season with just 24 goals to their name – one less than Crystal Palace and Norwich City.

 

Newcastle’s next league game sees them take on Southampton on Saturday afternoon, with the Saints sitting one place and two points ahead of Bruce’s men.

The reverse fixture saw the Magpies come out on top at St James’ Park, a late Federico Fernandez goal securing a 2-1 win.

In other Newcastle United news, Paul Robinson has revealed the Magpies star he wanted Leeds United to sign.