STEVE BRUCE has admitted it might be “time to try something different” in the wake of Newcastle United’s 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

The Magpies slipped to 14th position in the table as Patrick van Aanholt’s first-half free-kick condemned them to a deserved reverse at Selhurst Park.

Newcastle offered precious little in attack once again, with Joelinton continuing to struggle as a lone striker and neither Miguel Almiron nor Allan Saint-Maximin offering much of a goalscoring threat.

Bruce’s side have struggled in the final third all season, and the Magpies manager admits he might have to rip up his current tactical template when his side return to action at home to Burnley next weekend.

Bruce said: “We’re disappointed. Our big Achilles heel is blatantly obvious today. We gave the ball away in good areas so cheaply, especially in the last third. We get so far, and unfortunately it breaks down too often, too cheaply.

“We never asked their defenders to defend properly, and their goalkeeper to make a save, so maybe it’s time for change. Maybe it’s time we try something different, to have a look at.

“I couldn’t fault their effort and endeavour. They didn’t stop, in that respect, but the final ball, unfortunately, has been lacking.”

Bruce defended his decision to retain Joelinton in his starting line-up despite the Brazilian’s ongoing struggles in front of goal, insisting Dwight Gayle was not ready to start despite having trained for more than a week.

He said: “Dwight’s trained for the last eight or nine days after being out with a hamstring for six weeks, so I thought it was only right I didn’t start him.

“I’m not going to talk about individuals. We didn’t cross it enough. We don’t do the basics well enough to give him (Joelinton) a chance.

“We haven’t done it again today, which is pretty evident for everyone to see. When it really matters, the decision making wasn’t good enough.”

Bruce insists his players are not lacking in morale despite suffering back-to-back defeats against Arsenal and Palace, but accepts the last two performances have been nowhere near good enough.

He said: “The one thing they didn’t do was give it up. They kept going until the end. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem with the group of players I’ve got. But you have to cause more of a threat, and be more of a goal threat, to win a match in the Premier League.

“In the last two or three games, we’ve found it very difficult. I was pleased with us first half (against Arsenal), that’s why I sent the same team out.

“But first half today, even with lion’s share of the possession, we didn’t do enough with it. We didn’t cause enough problems in the final third. That’s what we’ve got to try and address.”