Newcastle manager Steve Bruce is reportedly set to be sacked by the club’s new owners PIF in the coming weeks as they attempt to find a replacement for the 60-year-old.
The former Aston Villa boss will be in the dugout against Tottenham on Sunday in the Premier League and it could be his last match in charge of the Magpies.
This could mean that a number of players may have the added motivation of performing to impress anyone watching on from the stands with a view to taking over from Bruce ahead of their next league game.
Keeping this in mind, Bruce could hand a parting gift to one player in particular for this match by unleashing Jacob Murphy against Spurs.
The 26-year-old has only started three of his seven Premier League appearances this season (most recently against Southampton in late August) and the clash on Sunday could offer him a chance to impress Bruce’s successor, whoever that may be, heading into the rest of the season. Putting in a strong performance could go a long way to making him a regular under the new boss, with the same going for the rest of his team-mates ahead of this match.
With Newcastle facing Tottenham and their many talented attackers, Bruce may revert to a three-at-the-back formation, and this would open up a place at right wing-back, which could suit Murphy perfectly. The 26-year-old has provided one goal and one assist in his three league starts this term, with both coming whilst playing as a wing-back.
Former Premier League forward Noel Whelan once hailed Murphy as a fantastic player for the Magpies, saying: “Murphy is a player with so much ability. He was brought to that club to run, be direct, use that pace and skill that he has with the ball at his feet and now he seems to be doing it.
“Murphy seems to be enjoying football again at Newcastle. The surroundings, the manager and the squad all seem to have made a nice connection. Newcastle seems a happier camp right now and Murphy is showing what a fantastic player he is.”
The £25k-per-week dynamo could catch the eye if deployed in a wing-back role against Tottenham, which is why Bruce must unleash him on Sunday. It would be a parting gift from the manager to the 26-year-old, who could be very grateful if he is able to turn in a positive performance and impress the right people at the Tyneside club.