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Steve Bruce reflects on going six games without a win as Newcastle United lose to Leicester

3 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce turned 60 on Thursday but had little to celebrate as his Newcastle United side continued their winless run.

Leicester City coming to St James Park and well worth their 2-1 victory.

Maybe not quite as convincing as the 5-0 and 3-0 Premier League wins over Newcastle last season but no doubt who deserved to win.

Unless you are Steve Bruce of course, he insisted after the final whistle: ‘I didn’t think we deserved to lose.’

Andy Carroll scored a late consolation goal and having gone over 33 months without scoring in the top tier, no doubt that was a special moment / relief for the striker after 17 months at St James Park.

Apart from that though, I’m not sure exactly what Steve Bruce can point to, that says Newcastle deserved a point or better.

Leicester scored two great goals, forced saves from Karl Darlow and probed constantly to try and open Newcastle up.

In contrast, Newcastle defended well enough but never ever really looked like scoring apart from that late Carroll strike.

A few times they did manage to get the ball into the box in what could potentially have been dangerous situations but very rarely did you have any Newcastle players making the necessary effort to try and get into the box.

To an extent NUFC pressed better today, as they did to an extent against Liverpool, how to create chances and a plan on players getting on the end of them appears to be the urgent next step in the team’s ‘progression’ under Steve Bruce.

As Bruce keeps on saying, even after 18 months at the club, these things take time…

So no wins in six matches now, four defeats and two draws, one goal now in over six and a half hours of football.

Happy new year.

Steve Bruce after watching Newcastle lose 2-1 at home to Leicester:

“We gave the ball away cheaply on both occasions [goals] and Leicester punished us.

“The one thing you don’t want to do, when you are having arguably your best spell after half-time, is give the ball away.

“It is something we have to improve on.

“I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game, but we have been punished, caught on the counter-attack.

“It [pressing / attacking] is what we want to do but we keep getting caught the other way.

“A great finish, Andy [Carroll] certainly brought us to life and we went a bit more direct to him.

“He has given me food for thought and it is nice to see him fit and well.

“We just lacked that bit of quality in the final third.

“I have to think, even though we only took one point [in these last three games], it was always going to be tough and thankfully we are now getting a few back from the illnesses.

“You have to stay with it and there is a long, long way to go but if they [the Newcastle players] keep showing the attitude they have been doing, then they will be fine.

“We need to recover now and it gives them another two or three days for those struggling with illness and look forward to the next batch of games that are coming up.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Leicester 2 – Sunday 3 January 2.15pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Carroll 82

Leicester:

Maddison 55, Tielemans 72

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Leicester 57% (60%)  Newcastle 43% (40%)

Total shots were Leicester 9 (3) Newcastle 7 (3)

Shots on target Leicester 3 (0) Newcastle 2 (1)

Corners were Leicester 6 (3) Newcastle 3 (0)

Referee: Robert Jones

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Yedlin (Carroll 79), Fernandez, Schar, Clark, Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Ritchie, Almiron (Murphy 64), Joelinton (Shelvey 65), Wilson

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, Krafth, Gayle, Hendrick, Dummett, Manquillo

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 1 Leicester 2 – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Leicester 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(‘I’m finished with Steve Bruce – Absolutely furious’ – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Leicester 2 Match Report – ‘Not as bad as expected’ – Read HERE)

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

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