THE FA Cup has given Newcastle United a bit of relief from a Premier League dip that has increased the threat of relegation, but Steve Bruce is convinced the start to 2020 is just a blip his side can recover from.

Tuesday night’s fifth round victory at West Bromwich Albion has put the Magpies into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time in 14 years and they will now face Manchester City at St James’ Park in the next round.

It is a mouthwatering fixture that could set up a Wembley appearance if Newcastle can spring a surprise, but Bruce also knows before that there are two important league dates to secure positive results from.

The Newcastle manager is desperate for a bounce from the victory at the Hawthorns at Southampton this Saturday and then at home to Sheffield United on March 14.

If Bruce can come up with a way to improve a run of just one win from ten Premier League games then it will go a long way in boosting the club’s chances of staying up this season before City travel to Tyneside a week later.

And the Newcastle boss has been encouraged by the way his side displayed their fighting spirit at Championship leaders West Brom at a time when the pressure was mounting on his shoulders once again.

“We’ve had a couple of bad results, but that’s what it is,” said Bruce. “You have to understand that’s what it is, and we’re not alone in that.

“If you have a couple of bad results whatever Premier League team you are in, then you come under the pump a little bit, maybe more so here.

“But that’s when you have to show your mettle and the only way you can do it is by winning a couple of games. We’ve got a good opportunity this week, let’s try.”

Newcastle, who are five points clear of the drop zone, have displayed greater attacking intent in the last two games following a change of approach in the final third.

There were plenty of chances created against Burnley last weekend even though they ultimately came up short and had to settle for a goalless draw at home.

But Newcastle looked dangerous from the first whistle against West Brom and coasted in to a three-goal lead, with Miguel Almiron’s double followed by a first goal for Valentino Lazaro.

Despite the loan signings in January which freshened things up in the squad, and the arrival of others, Bruce is also very appreciative of those who have been around for years.

Bruce said: “Well, the vast majority, the core of them - Matty Ritchie, for example, has been here three or four years now, and that goes for Jonjo Shelvey and that goes for Isaac Hayden and that goes for Jamaal Lascelles and it goes for Karl Darlow and it goes for Dwight Gayle. There’s a core of them who understand the club, that’s for sure. Yes, I think they understand the demands.”

Gayle is likely to be back in the side at Southampton even though Joelinton impressed through the middle against West Brom, with Allan Saint-Maximim, Almiron and Lazaro behind him.

Lazaro missed last week’s visit of Burnley through suspension, but he has been given a big role already since arriving on loan from Inter Milan. Danny Rose and Nabil Bentaleb, who was also recalled after being left out against Burnley, both have figured since arriving on loan from Tottenham and Schalke respectively.

Bruce insists, though, that there are no issues when he leaves his loan signings out. He said: “No, no, no (guarantees). They’ve come here to play, of course but they’re part of the squad of 20 other players and I have to pick a team which I think is capable of winning tomorrow.”