STEVE BRUCE thinks his Newcastle United forward line looked “jaded” after failing to overcome bottom club Norwich City at St James’ Park.

The Magpies could easily have lost to the Canaries but goalkeeper Martin Dubravka made some fine saves to deny Teemu Pukki and Sam Byram to keep the visitors out.

Newcastle had their own chances too, including a Federico Fernandez header and Joelinton (pictured) header that had to be saved as well as Miguel Almiron turning a rebound wide, but Norwich were the better side.

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Nevertheless despite the toothless display, Newcastle climbed up to tenth and stayed seven points clear of the relegation zone courtesy of a four-match unbeaten run in the Premier League. They have not lost in seven going into Tuesday’s FA Cup replay at Oxford United.

Bruce was also pleased with the impacts of new signings Danny Rose, Valentino Lazaro and Nabil Bentaleb.

The Newcastle boss said: “What’s important is when you play so poorly you don’t get beaten. That is the only positive along with the introduction of three new lads who will help us.

"But from the way we looked tired and jaded in the forward areas, I still don’t think Allan Saint-Maximim Is 100 per cent, I am concerned with him. Overall you move on and take it and get ready for Tuesday.

“With the problems we have, and I don’t want to highlight them, and you can see with Joelinton, Almiron, the last two or three weeks, I would like to in a position to rotate them.

"They have played almost every minute of every game, I don’t have the luxury to change that end of the pitch. We have been lucky that we haven’t been beaten when we have played poorly.

“Defensively we gifted them a couple of mistakes, defensively all season apart from when I tried to change it, it has given us a chance.

"Certainly when we play the way we do, we must offer more on the counter and that has been missing in the last few weeks. We have not been able to get on the ball and cause them enough problems.”

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Newcastle handed three Premier League debuts to their new recruits. The Canaries had some great chances but Dubravka, like so often for the Magpies, was on hand to make telling saves.

Norwich did have the best chances, although Newcastle did force former goalkeeper Tim Krul into saves of his own from Saint-Maximim, Fernandez and Joelinton.

Bruce, who cut an anxious figure in the closing stages as Norwich went in search of a winner, but the point was preserved.

NEWCASTLE UNITED (3-4-2-1): Dubravka; Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark; Yedlin (Lazaro 54), Hayden (S Longstaff 57), Bentaleb, Ritchie; Almiron, Saint-Maximin (Rose 78); Joelinton. Subs (not used): Darlow (gk), Schar, Lejeune, Atsu.

NORWICH CITY (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann, Hanley, Byram; Tettey (Hernandez 86), McLean; Rupp (Vrancic 89), Cantwell (Buendia 67), Duda; Pukki. Subs (not used): Fahrmann (gk), Lewis, Trybull, Drmic.

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