STEVE BRUCE will be telling his Newcastle United players he will not tolerate them ‘switching off for the summer’ despite their Premier League survival being guaranteed.

A much-changed Magpies side slumped to the club’s joint-heaviest defeat of the season last night as they were thrashed 5-0 at Manchester City.

Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez scored for a rampant City in the first half, with second-half goals from David Silva and Raheem Sterling following an own goal from Federico Fernandez as Newcastle were put to the sword.

Bruce was forced into a host of alterations as Newcastle’s injury problems mount, but while the lack of some senior figures undoubtedly told, his side’s performance still smacked of an end-of-season display with little at stake.

The Magpies still have four more matches before the end of the campaign, and while games against Tottenham and Liverpool will almost certainly prove difficult, Bruce is adamant he will not tolerate a repeat of last night’s surrender.

“You can get beat, that’s part of football, but sometimes it’s the manner of it that’s important,” said the Newcastle boss. “We didn’t do enough against a really top team.

“If the mentality is that we’ve all done enough with four games to spare and we’ve all got our flip-flops on, then that’s not going to happen.

“We’ve got four games to play, and I will certainly demand that we are better than we were today. Hopefully, we can finish things off on a better note than we’ve witnessed tonight.”

Bruce was deprived of the services of Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejuene and Ciaran Clark, meaning he was forced to play full-back Emil Krafth at centre-half. With Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin all unavailable, Fabian Schar played as a central midfielder with Joelinton restored to his former role as a long striker.

None of the changes worked, but while Bruce admitted his side had missed a number of their leading lights, he was still deeply unhappy with his players’ sloppiness in possession and lack of decisiveness in defence.

“We’re down to the bare bones,” he said. “With the centre-half and midfield situation, it’s been difficult. When you’re missing seven or eight, then of course you’re going to find it difficult.

“But I still expect us to be better than what we showed today – it was the manner of the defeat that disappoints me. I’ve said it many times, if you get beat but get beat with your boots on, then we’ll all accept it.

“Tonight, they were far too good for us in every department. But sometimes, it’s the manner you lose in that’s important, and that’s what has upset me.”

Unlike in last month’s FA Cup defeat, Bruce resisted the temptation to play with five at the back in an attempt to shut up shop.

Newcastle’s formation was reasonably positive, but they were sliced apart from the off, with the quality of Manchester City’s attacking proving much too good for them to cope with.

David Silva was in mesmeric form as he scored one goal and set up another, Kevin de Bruyne was his usual impeccable self in midfield and Phil Foden might well have had a hat-trick had he displayed a little more composure in the 18-yard box.

“When you come here, you’ve got to be somewhere near your best,” added Bruce. “We knew we were up against it with the bodies we’ve got missing, but I don’t want to make that the excuse. You still expect to put up a little bit more than we showed.

“It was too easy from the first whistle to the last. If you’re going to come here and play like that, then you’re going to be badly beaten.

“You need a squad of players who grasp the situation and play on the biggest of stages, and we’ve got to be brutally honest and say that we didn’t do enough from start to finish.

“That’s the disappointing thing. We’ve had a really good run of late, so the manner of it today was just not what it should be.”