Cup catalyst the aim for Bruce
After their slow start, Steve Bruce is hoping Wednesday's EFL Cup tie against Burnley can help change the mood at Newcastle.
The Magpies are 13/10 to win at St James' in 90 minutes, with the draw 21/10 and the Clarets 12/5, and Bruce's boys have recent pedigree in this tournament, having reached the quarter-finals last term.
It's an ideal opportunity to get up and running.Steve Bruce
A cup win would be timely after a tough opening to their Premier League campaign that has seen Newcastle lose to both West Ham and Aston Villa over the first couple of weeks.
Another team in claret head to Tyneside on Wednesday evening with Burnley also spying their first competitive victory of the 2021/22 season.
International break upcoming
With the September international break due after the upcoming round of Premier League fixtures, Bruce admits it is vital that his side start carving out results to give themselves a psychological lift.
While some managers would already have one eye on Saturday's league game against Southampton, the 60-year-old is adamant that his immediate focus is on Burnley, as he feels beating them can set the tone for the weekend and beyond.
"We're frustrated - I think that's the right word," he told reporters. "Big, key decisions have gone against us - there hasn't been much in any of the games, really.
"So it's an ideal opportunity to get up and running; can we get into the next round of the cup and can we get some points on the board at the weekend before we go into the international break? That's what we'll be looking for."
Bruce confirmed on Tuesday that he will again be without goalkeeper Martin Dubravka for Wednesday's game. The Slovakian is set for another eight weeks out after a wound on the foot he had surgery on over the summer became infected.
Meanwhile, Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden are also sidelined but Joe Willock should get "some minutes" in the game, Bruce confirmed.