When Steve Bruce was announced as Newcastle manager, he confirmed he’d be taking the cups seriously.
Throughout Mike Ashley’s ownership of the Magpies, the domestic cups have taken a backseat to the Premier League. Survival in the top flight has been considered more crucial than winning a trophy. Apparently you can’t commit to both…
But when he was unveiled as Rafa Benitez’s successor, Bruce was adamant this policy would change after his previous experience with Hull City.
“Surely as a club we can win five games? If the draw is kind to you, like it was at Hull … that’s got to an aim,” Bruce told the Chronicle.
“Can we win a cup tie, can we do well in the League Cup or the FA Cup?
“That’s got to be an aim. It’s not just about staying in the division and being happy with that – that would be wrong.”
The words that will haunt Bruce are ‘if the draw is kind to you’. Sadly for the new Toon boss, the League Cup second round draw hasn’t been kind at all. It arguably couldn’t have been tougher.
Despite the draws now being separated into two sections, north and south, the Magpies are still set to play one of the Premier League’s best of the rest in Leicester City.
We could put out our strongest team against the Foxes and still lose, then Bruce will have egg on his face after falling at the first hurdle yet again.
If we get past Leicester, then fair play to Bruce for taking it seriously no matter who the opponent is. But on the face of it, it already looks like a tough task that could have bleak consequences for the boss.