STEVE BRUCE thinks everyone connected with Newcastle United will be satisfied if Newcastle can hit this week’s first Premier League winter break seven points clear of relegation and in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The Magpies head to Oxford United on Tuesday night for the fourth round replay, hoping to secure a place in the next stage of the competition for the first time since Mike Ashley took control in 2007.

Oxford showed in the first meeting that Newcastle will be in for a tough night in front of the BBC cameras, but Bruce is convinced his squad still have a fantastic chance to reach the next round.

And, despite a poor goalless draw against Norwich City on Saturday, the Newcastle head coach thinks his side will be sitting in a healthy position ahead of this free weekend if they can deliver at the Kassam Stadium.

“I seem to have pivotal weeks every week, every week is,” said Bruce. “It goes up and down here. It could be a good week, before the break if we can get into the fifth round and have 31 points then we will all accept that.

"In difficult circumstances over the last month or so we have shown a certain amount of resilience to get this far.”

Newcastle did not pick up any fresh injuries against Norwich on Saturday, but Bruce will be freshening things up.

The Longstaff brothers are in line to slot into the midfield, while Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune will start at the back.

But Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro are ineligible having signed for Newcastle after the first meeting with Oxford.

“They were in yesterday, we will be fine,” said Bruce. “We dust ourselves down and get ready for the cup tie, it is a great opportunity. That has not changed. We will get ready for Oxford and treat them with the respect they deserve.

“All of us would have liked to give every team a bit of time off, that’s the whole idea of this break.

"It is not as long as I would like to give them because we didn’t get the job done against Oxford in the first place. But they will have a long weekend, that’s what we get for not winning the first one.

“We have got no alternative in terms of selection. We are still missing seven or eight. The two lads who made their debuts, Danny and Lazaro, can’t play because not signed before the first game, which is annoying.

“We will have to get them ready for Arsenal. Hopefully the front three will be back for that. Jonjo Shelvey will be touch and go by then, we have missed him in the last few weeks.

Jetro Willems and Paul Dummett will miss the rest of the season, and Ki Sung-Yeung has obviously left us.”