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Steve Bruce blames match officials for Newcastle’s 2-1 defeat at Watford

5 months ago

Steve Bruce watched on as a proverbial game of two halves was played out at Vicarage Road.

Newcastle were decent in the first half and Federico Fernandez took advantage of poor defending at a corner, winning a free header and Dwight Gayle’s poacher’s instinct saw him in the right place to finish from close range.

United a goal up at half-time and looking comfortable.

However, Nigel Pearson clearly woke his players up at the break, they got tighter on ASM, the second half then seeing Watford now clearly the better team.

Very worrying just how reliant Newcastle are on ASM, zero threat with him tied up, no corners for NUFC and only one effort on target after the break.

At the other end, Newcastle were helping to cause problems for themselves, poor passing and caught in possession at times.

On 52 minutes Ritchie clearly fouled a Watford player running into the box.

Thirty minutes later, Steve Bruce had taken off Rose and switched Manquillo to the left, the Spaniard getting the wrong side of his man and with arms all over him, it was such an obvious penalty.

Troy Deeney scoring both spot-kicks.

After the game, Steve Bruce embarrassingly tried to blame the match officials, claiming the penalties shouldn’t have been given.

Instead he should be looking at the NUFC players for a feeble second half performance, as well as himself for poor game management.

The substitutions Steve Bruce made, clearly affected the team late on, Newcastle ending up disorganised at times.

As for Matty Longstaff, after talking him up and saying how much he would love to keep him, Steve Bruce didn’t start him and then didn’t even give him minutes off the bench despite only using four subs.

Talk from Steve Bruce of finishing top ten now looking a little unlikely.

Steve Bruce:

“I thought the first half performance was very, very good.

“The second half they’re given a huge lifeline.

“I will let other people make their mind up but they [the penalties] looked remarkably soft to me.

“There was contact on the penalties but they were both soft.

“I don’t know why we don’t ask the ref to have a look at the monitor.

“I thought we needed Fabian Schär’s physicality and I think it worked in the first-half.

“Him playing in midfield is something we’ve worked on in training so it’s given me food for thought.

“With Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden out we’re short so I picked him for his physicality.

“I thought our first-half performance was excellent and could have went 2-0 up when Allan burst through.

“I thought the only way they could beat us was set-pieces.

“Whether we were naive or they [the penalties] were soft, I’ll let other people make that judgement.”

Steve Bruce on the news that Jack Charlton passed away on Friday:

“He was a really, really good football man who will be sadly missed.

“The football world has lost a giant of a man today.

“On behalf of everyone at Newcastle, our condolences to his family.

“He will be missed and it was a pleasure to know him.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Watford 2 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 11 July 12.30pm


Newcastle United:

Gayle 23


Deeney 52 pen and 82 pen

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Watford 48% (48%) Newcastle 52% (52%)

Total shots were Watford 17 (9) Newcastle 8 (4)

Shots on target were Watford 5 (2) Newcastle 4 (3)

Corners were Watford 2 (0) Newcastle 4 (4)

Referee: Craig Pawson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles (Lazaro 87), Rose (Krafth 79), Shelvey, Schar, Almiron, Ritchie (Joelinton 72), Gayle (Bentaleb 78), Saint-Maximin

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Muto, Yedlin, Atsu, M. Longstaff

Crowd: 00,000

(Watford 2 Newcastle 1 match report: ‘Took a while for flip flop wearing version of Newcastle to emerge’ – Read HERE)

(Watford 2 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat – Read HERE)

(Watford 2 Newcastle 1 – Watch official match highlights HERE including all 3 goals and near misses)


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