​Steve Bruce has revealed he could make changes to his starting Newcastle lineup when they face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Thursday.

Fresh from their 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Saturday, the Magpies face another stern test as they look to put more distance between themselves and the relegation zone with a win against the highflying Blades.

While Saturday's side has been praised for holding Premier League champions City to a point, Bruce has admitted he may opt to freshen things up ahead the frantic Christmas period.

Steve Bruce

He said, as quoted by ​the Northern Echo“I’m already thinking of changes. That’s something I also believe we will have to do in January because of the amount of games we have to play.”

Bruce also praised midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. The midfielder has produced some great performances in recent weeks and is the club's top scorer in the Premier League this season with three goals following his strike against City.

He added: “I’ve been quietly pleased with him. I thought he was excellent against West Ham, which was only four weeks ago.

“We were disappointing against Aston Villa - I thought we were disappointing as a team and that’s the thing we have to address. But I’ve been really pleased with Jonjo.


“Physically, we have asked him to do stuff he probably wouldn’t have been able to do before or been asked to do before. When I saw his physical stats against Aston Villa, they were terrific.”

Bruce's ​Newcastle are four points ahead of ​Southampton following the latter's 2-1 win over Watford and face games against ​Burnley​Crystal Palace and ​Manchester United after their trip to Bramall Lane.

​Sheffield United, meanwhile, have been the surprise package in the Premier League this season, picking up 19 points from 14 games and sitting seventh in the table.