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Steve Bruce with Groundhog Day message for Newcastle United fans after Wolves

1 month ago
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Steve Bruce watched on as Newcastle United got a point at Molineux.

The vast majority of teams would / should be pleased with a draw away at Wolves and of course Newcastle are one of those teams.

However, yet again, it was the route to that point which left many Newcastle United fans despondent.

It was basically a game of attack v defence, one team trying to score whilst the other one attempted to stop them.

One side getting plenty of players forward at every opportunity, the opposition keeping plenty of players back at all times.

It is getting to the point where even many pundits and journalists are having to break their vow of refusing to admit what they are watching.

Sunday’s match even saw Andy Gray come out and absolutely slaughter Steve Bruce for his miserable negative tactics, pointing out there was absolutely no intention of trying to provide an attacking threat, not until going a goal down on 80 minutes.

Steve Bruce producing his usual Groundhog Day response to what we had all watched: ‘We are trying to find a balance to the team, it won’t happen overnight but we are trying to change the way we play.’

We are now 54 matches and a net spend of over £100m into the Steve Bruce reign, yet the team gets ever more negative, not positive.

Steve Bruce talks about attempting change but Newcastle fans (and now pundits!) only see more of the same ultra negative tactics.

Wolves are a team who very very rarely have the majority of possession, apart from against Newcastle that is.

Last season Newcastle had only 34% of possession and one shot on target when coming away with a 1-1 draw, this time it was 37% possession and two shots on target, somehow escaping with another 1-1 draw.

The feeling amongst so many Newcastle fans is that with the players he now has available, there is no excuse for Steve Bruce to set out the team he way he does, stifling any attacking threat beyond a bare minimum.

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Steve Bruce:

“We are trying to find a balance to the team, it won’t happen overnight but we are trying to change the way we play.

“It would have been a bit unfair if we had lost it as there wasn’t much in it.

“When you come to play against Wolves, they do have really good possession of the ball, but certainly the way the midfield players tried to adapt to make sure it was difficult for them, that’s what it had to be.

“We are delighted to come here and take a point in difficult circumstances.

“I’m pleased for Jacob Murphy in particular, who has been knocking on the door since pre-season really.

“I saw him taking free-kicks on Thursday and when it comes off the training ground and goes in, fair play to him.

“He’s hit it and got it around the wall.

“Whether he’s blaming the goalkeeper, I’ll let Nuno go to work with that, but it was a good strike.

“Jacob is last on the training pitch and practises these sorts of things, so when he has the confidence to step up and push a few out of the road and take it, I’m delighted.

“To go and play like he has done and in that wing-back role too, I’m absolutely delighted for him.

“We’re a bit disappointed [with the Wolves goal] because we gave away a cheap foul and we didn’t have anybody on the edge of the box quick enough.

“I will have a look at it again and see what we can do.

“Overall, the response to losing last week…there was a resilience about them which had to be admired.

“We didn’t have any natural midfield players who want to win the ball back today.

“We have to defend better than we have done of late, we have to be hard to beat.

“It was hard work but then that’s the Premier League.

“Almiron does the hard work, it’s very hard for me to leave him out, he’s a manager’s delight and he ran himself to a standstill.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 – Sunday 25 October 4.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Murphy 89

Wolves:

Jimenez 80

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Wolves 63% (65%) Newcastle 37% (35%)

Total shots were Wolves 16 (4) Newcastle 5 (2)

Shots on target were Wolves 3 (1) Newcastle 2 (1)

Corners were Wolves 2 (1) Newcastle 3 (2)

Referee: Lee Mason

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Murphy, Lascelles (Carroll 88), Fernandez, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Almiron, Fraser (Joelinton 78), Wilson, Saint-Maximin (Sean Longstaff 79)

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Hayden, Manquillo, Krafth

Crowd: 00,000

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from the Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 match – Read HERE)

(Andy Gray slaughters Steve Bruce for his appalling negative tactics after Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 – Read HERE)

(Wolves Captain Conor Coady blames referee for not beating Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s draw – Read HERE)

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