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Newcastle boss Bruce upbeat facing Aston Villa with Saint-Maximin back

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce was in an upbeat mood at today's presser for their clash at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Winger Allan Saint-Maximin is back in the squad after suffering the long-terms effects of coronavirus.

"It's good news for everybody," said Bruce. "He came through all week, trained well and looks in decent shape which is important. It will give us a huge lift because we know how important he is and he has that bit of creativity.

Bruce admits confidence is low but believes his players are up for the challenge.

"I thought we had improvement against Arsenal in first half," said the Magpies manager. "We got caught in second half committing too many men forward, but it's the way we are going to go and we need results and the players are capable of getting them.

"We look forward to the challenge and being tested. The question is how people handle it.

"It's been difficult but we are not alone, If Liverpool cant score in six hours it shows you how hard the league is."

He added: "Burnley had an awful start and have found bit of form and got great result last night, its accumulation of points.

"We have to remember we are halfway there, nearly there. We have 19 points for long time. Always looking over shoulder in bottom half of table.

"We have been in bottom the half of Premier League for 15 years, we know that they [the players] are capable. When our best players on the pitch, we have a chance. When things going against you, we have made far too many changes."

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Paul Vegas

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