STEVE Bruce has warned Newcastle to beware of battling Cherries as they attempt to bounce back from their FA Cup disappointment by effectively securing their Premier League status.

The Magpies slipped tamely out of the cup at the quarter-final stage on Sunday when they were beaten 2-0 by holders Manchester City at St James’ Park, and now have just their remaining seven league fixtures to fulfil to bring the season to a close.

But Bruce is wary of the threat posed by Eddie Howe's men.

Head coach Bruce said: “This year they’ve been blighted with big injuries and when that happens to you.

"You think everything is against you because you miss four of five of your big players for a long, long period and it becomes difficult, and certainly they’ve had a difficult period.

“But make no mistake, they’ll be fighting for their lives, so we know what to expect.”

Striker Dwight Gayle will hope for another chance after failing to follow up his league goal against Aston Villa last week with another against City when presented with a gilt-edged chance, and Bruce is confident he will be able to put a glaring miss behind him.

He said: “Knowing Dwight the way I do, he’ll come out and he’ll train this morning and look to put it right tomorrow. That’s the type of character he is.”

Bruce is also set to make a late call on former Cherries star Matt Ritchie.