Bruce Eyes Wembley As Magpies Begin Cup Journey

Bruce Eyes Wembley As Magpies Begin Cup Journey

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce insists he will be taking the cup competitions “seriously” this season as he dreams of a glamour Wembley appearance. The Magpies have not made it to a cup final since the 1999 FA Cup showpiece, when they lost to Manchester United at the old Wembley, while they have not won silverware at the national stadium since triumphing in the 1955 FA Cup final.

The national stadium has proved an unhappy hunting ground, also losing in other visits there in 1974, 1976 and 1998. Newcastle have played at the revamped Wembley, against former tenants Tottenham, twice in the last few years but even those visits south ended in misery as they were beaten on both occasions 1-0.

However, ahead of their first Carabao Cup tie of the campaign against Leicester City on Wednesday, Bruce already has one eye on taking the Toon back to the famous stadium.

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The Newcastle boss, who picked up his first three points since taking charge when his side claimed a fine 1-0 win at Spurs on Sunday, says he will be treating both domestic cup competitions seriously this season.

He said: “The cup competitions for any Premier League team – I learned this a few years ago – you only have to win four or five games to get there. We saw Watford get to the FA Cup final last year. It is something we will take seriously, so let’s see if we can get through.”

Some fans may be alarmed that Bruce seems prepared to go all out for cup glory when staying in the top flight might be more of a priority but he insists plenty of teams have proved in the past decade they can progress in the cups without it being too detrimental to their league position.

He added: “If Hull is capable of getting to a final and maintaining its Premier League status, then a club like this can too, surely?”

Bruce has also revealed as a teenager he was one of six members of the Newcastle Schools’ squad chosen to be a ball-boy in the 1976 League Cup final, but he doesn’t remember the day too fondly as he could only look on in despair as Sunderland old boy Dennis Tueart fired Manchester City to a 2-1 victory.

He will hope to build on the impressive win over Tottenham at the weekend, though, and take an early step on the road back to Wembley by seeing off the Foxes in midweek. Newcastle are then back in Premier League action on Saturday when they host Watford, who have lost their first three games of the new season.

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