What Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce said about prospect of 10,000 fans returning for clash with his old club Sheffield United

Steve Bruce, the Newcastle United manager, admits he can’t wait to hopefully welcome back 10,000 fans to St. James’ Park for the meeting with his former side Sheffield United – if the British government give the go-ahead.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 11:30 am

Clubs including the Blades have been preparing for the possibility of welcoming up to 10,00 fans back for one of their last two games of the current season at home. United are at home to Burnley on the final day, and travel to Newcastle for their penultimate game of the current Premier League season.

Hopes of having up to 500 Blades fans making the journey were dashed yesterday when the Premier League revealed that only home fans would be allowed, as long as the government goes ahead with the planned easing of coronavirus restrictions on May 17.

And, when asked about the hopeful return of fans for the Blades game, Bruce said today: “10,000 will make a huge difference, even in our huge stadium.

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“I'm delighted we're edging towards being 'normal'. It'd be terrific to see them back.”

Premier League chief Richard Masters initially raised the possibility of a small number of away supporters making up that number in a letter to clubs recently. But a decision has now been taken to limit attendance to home spectators only.

"Following consultation with clubs, it was agreed matches would not be open to away supporters due to varying operational challenges across the league and the need to deliver a consistent approach, while maximising the opportunity for home-fan attendance," a league statement read.

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce gestures on the touchline - Stu Forster/PA.