Steve Bruce says mission accomplished “The idea was to come here and still be in the draw afterwards”
Steve Bruce declared before the match ‘No one wants to lose to bloody Rochdale, that is for sure.’
Well he nearly did lose to ‘bloody Rochdale’ after some shocking game management from the Head Coach saw Newcastle almost turn a winning position into defeat.
Newcastle dominating the first half and should have had the game won.
Only for Steve Bruce deciding to go too defensive against a poor League One team (eight defeats in their last ten league games and only four points above the bottom three) as he tried to see out the game.
Rochdale embarrassingly dominating the final half hour, hitting the post, a 40 (FORTY!) year old equalising and then the home side almost getting a winner.
Almiron forced off with an injury didn’t help but once again, embarrassing for Steve Bruce to try and simply blame that for his own poor management.
Even more embarrassing when Steve Bruce declared after the 1-1 draw: ‘The idea was to come here and still be in the draw afterwards.’
The reality is of course that this is an added nightmare for a team that has now won only one of six games, losing four.
Steve Bruce and his team now have a reply to play in between Wolves away and Chelsea home, the last thing they needed.
Almiron now has a groin injury and personally I would have rested him today. A nightmare if he is now ruled out for any length of time, the only playing going forward who is looking any threat in the Premier League.
“For how we were good first half, we were disappointing second half.
“We should have been out of sight and there lies our big problem….
“We don’t score often enough.
“We have had enough chances and possession to put the Cup-tie to bed but if you don’t take them, obviously it can happen like this in the Cup.
“They made a change, went a bit more direct and Rochdale made a Cup tie of it.
“We are still in the Cup.
“The idea was to come here and still be in the draw afterwards.
“We will address it (the replay) when we get to it.
“It is the FA Cup and we will take it seriously.
“In the first half I was delighted with them but the loss of Muto and Almiron took the edge off us and we genuinely hope that they are not too bad, injury-wise.
“We missed the cut and thrust that they gave us but the Cup-tie should have been out of sight.
“Our glaring frailties are there to see, we don’t score enough, even when we have got really big chances.
“We have to improve in those areas.
“Joelinton has had a disappointing time but he’s got to stick at it, play his way through it.
“Up to two weeks ago, Almiron had not scored. He scored two in two weeks.
“Got to stay with it and keep working hard.”
“Muto has a hip problem and Almiron is a groin injury.
We hope they are not too bad but we didn’t want to take any chances.
“We won’t know how bad they are until we see them tomorrow.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Rochdale 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 4 January 12.31pm
Possession was Rochdale 34%, Newcastle 66%
Total shots were Rochdale 11, Newcastle 18
Shots on target were Rochdale 4, Newcastle 5
Corners were Rochdale 3 Newcastle 12
Crowd: 8,593 (3,200 NUFC)
Referee: David Coote
Newcastle team v Rochdale:
Dubravka, Yedlin, Krafth, Fernandez, Hayden, Atsu, Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Ritchie 64), Muto (Ki 53), Joelinton
Darlow, Lejeune, Allan, Sorensen, Cass
(Rochdale 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s draw – Read HERE)
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